stock index futures were slightly higher early on Monday, following the previous session's sharp retreat, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.22 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.13 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.24 percent at 0855 GMT (5:55 a.m. EST).

Retail stocks will be in the spotlight after data showed U.S. consumers spent significantly less per person at the start of the holiday season this weekend, dimming hopes for a retail comeback that would help fuel the economic recovery next year.

On Sunday, the United Arab Emirates offered banks emergency support, the first steps to ease fears that a looming debt default by two of Dubai's flagship firms could derail the global economic recovery.

But the move to inject liquidity into Dubai's banks by the central bank of the Gulf Arab state, together with promises by neighboring city-state Abu Dhabi to provide selective support to Dubai companies was seen as by analysts as the bare minimum.

Dubai's share index <.DFMGI> sank 7 percent and Abu Dhabi's bourse <.ADI> dropped 8 percent on Monday, while DP World plunged 15 percent as markets in the United Arab Emirates open for the first time since the emirate called for a delay in repaying billions of dollars in debt.

Japan's Nikkei average gained 2.9 percent on Monday, driven higher by bank shares while exporters gained after the yen retreated from a 14-year high on the dollar, while European stocks were down 0.5 percent in morning trade, led lower by oil majors such as BP and Total as crude oil prices remained below $77 a barrel.

The dollar fell against other major currencies on Monday, retreating from sharp gains made last week, after the United Arab Emirates' move to offer emergency assistance to banks in Dubai, soothing market fears about a looming debt default.

Tech shares will be in focus after Samsung Electronics <005930.KS>, the world's second-biggest mobile phone maker, said it was on track to exceed its 2009 sales target of 200 million phones, with touchscreen models enjoying sharp growth.

Beijing Automotive Industry Holding Corp (BAIC) might still be interested in buying General Motors' Saab unit, Wang Dazong, the Chinese car company's general manager, said on Monday.

The U.S. aviation regulator decided to allow over 130 Boeing Co 777 airplanes to continue flying international trips through early 2011, despite warnings about suspect parts that have caused rare shutdowns in midair, the Wall Street Journal reported.

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders said on Sunday he will not vote to reconfirm Ben Bernanke as chairman of the Federal Reserve, in a preview of the rough treatment Bernanke may get this week on Capitol Hill.

The central bank chief will testify on Thursday before the Senate Banking Committee at a hearing on his nomination to a second four-year term.

On the macro front, investors will keep an eye on The Chicago Purchasing Manager's index (PMI) for November, a key indicator of the economic health of the manufacturing sector, due at 1445 GMT (9:45 a.m. EST).

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Hans Peters)