U.S. stock index futures pointed to gain at the open on Monday after the worst 3-day slide in 10 months following fears a White House plan to curb risk-taking by banks would cut profits.

Embattled U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke edged closer to winning support for a second term after the U.S. Senate Republican leader predicted confirmation. Bernanke's prospects appeared shaky last week, when two Senate Democrats announced their opposition, contributing to the equity sell-off.

Earnings season continues with tech stocks in focus because of reports from Apple Inc and Texas Instruments Inc .

Wall Street is breathing a sigh of relief as it appears Bernanke will be reconfirmed, removing the uncertainty about who will be the gate-keeper at the Fed, said Andre Bakhos, president of Princeton Financial Group in North Brunswick, New Jersey.

There's also some early-week optimism for good numbers in the earnings season, which could shed some light onto the state of the consumer.

S&P 500 futures gained 6.9 points and were above 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 surged 65 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures added 5.75 points.

Sam's Club, the warehouse club division of Wal-Mart Stores Inc said it would cut about 11,200 jobs, or 10 percent of its work force, as it outsources in-store product demonstrations and eliminates positions used to recruit new business members. Sam's Club said on Sunday it doesn't see any material impact from the layoffs.

Eaton Corp reported fourth-quarter earnings that beat expectations, and forecast a rebound in profits this year.

Results from Halliburton Co and AK Steel Holding Corp are also on tap for Monday, with Dow components Boeing Co , Johnson & Johnson and Travelers Co expected to report later in the week.

December U.S. existing home sales data is due at 10 a.m. <1500 GMT> from the National Association of Realtors. Sales are forecast to fall month-over-month by 10 percent to an annual rate of 5.9 million units.

If home sales come in significantly below expectations, we could see our gains erode, Bakhos said. The market has been hyper-sensitive to data, especially important numbers like this.

In overseas trading, Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> hit a four-week closing low on Monday, with exporters such as Toyota Motor Corp <7203.T> among the biggest losers, while European stocks were down slightly in morning trade, as investors eased up after last week's steep, three-session sell-off.

Markets erased gains for the new year last week, with the Dow dropping 4.1 percent, the S&P 500 losing 3.9 percent and the Nasdaq tumbling 3.6 percent. It was the worst week for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq since October and the worst week for the Dow since March.

(Editing by Padraic Cassidy)