U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Monday following a strong rally to end last week's session, when the Nasdaq closed at an 18-month high on better-than-expected February payroll data.

On Friday, the government said 36,000 U.S. jobs were lost in February, compared with forecasts 50,000, resulting in a rally that pushed the Dow and S&P to close at six-week highs.

American International Group Inc agreed to sell its Alico foreign life insurance unit to MetLife Inc for about $15.5 billion, leaving AIG with a substantial minority stake in MetLife. AIG rose 2.2 percent to $28.70 before the bell.

The market really got a pleasant surprise with the jobs number on Friday, so even though AIG raising money is good news, we don't have too much higher to go without any catalysts, said Art Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co in Boston.

In other acquisition news, Bank of New York Mellon Corp agreed to acquire Germany's BHF Asset Servicing GmbH for about $343 million.

S&P 500 futures rose 1.4 points and were below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 12 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures gained 1.75 points.

H&R Block Inc is the sole S&P 500 company scheduled to report quarterly results on Monday, while the only economic data will be the February employment trend number.

Investors digested comments by China's central bank governor Zhou Xiaochuan, who said the timing of China's exit from economic stimulus would require prudence, easing concerns over immediate monetary policy tightening.

In overseas markets, Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> rose 2.1 percent to a six-week closing high on Monday, with exporters up on a weaker yen, while European shares <.FTEU3> was flat in early trade.

Toyota Motor Corp's <7203.T> president said Monday he believed North American sales could recover in March after a sharp decline last month following a safety crisis led to a recall of some 8.5 million vehicles globally.

With the Friday rally, all three indexes are now positive for the year. Last week the Dow rose 2.3 percent, the Nasdaq added 3.9 percent, and the S&P 500 climbed 3.1 percent.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)