Stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.62 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.53 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.52 percent, at 3:40 a.m. EST.

Investors will keep a close eye on Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, due to speak at the Economic Club of Washington at 12 noon, as the market seeks clues on the outlook for interest rates following data showing U.S. employers cut a far-fewer-than-expected 11,000 jobs in November, the smallest decline since the start of the recession in December 2007.

The projected long-term cost of the U.S. government's bailout of the nation's big banks is going to be at least $200 billion less than previously thought, a Treasury Department official said on Sunday night.

U.S. energy firm ExxonMobil Corp has finalized a gas sales contract with Japan's Tokyo Electric Power <9501.T> for its project in Papua New Guinea, putting the $15 billion development on track for approval on Tuesday.

Intel Corp has scrapped plans to launch an advanced graphics chip based on its novel Larrabee design, after concluding that delays in the project would make it uncompetitive, a spokesman said on Sunday.

Bayer and Johnson & Johnson have ruled out delivering data requested by U.S. regulators on their anti-blood-clotting pill Xarelto this year, playing it safe for the potential blockbuster's largest market.

Five senior executives at American International Group told the insurer last week they may quit if their compensation was cut significantly by the U.S. pay czar, the Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.

Clear Channel Communications Inc's outdoor advertising business is in talks with lenders to raise as much as $2.5 billion in the high-yield market, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Press reports over the weekend suggested Hershey was in talks with Nestle over the possibility of forming a consortium to bid for Cadbury after Kraft Foods on Friday formally launched its 713 pence a share offer for the British confectionery group.

Mexico's top retailer Wal-Mart de Mexico, or Walmex , said on Sunday it had signed a deal to buy Walmart Centroamerica, the local division of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc .

Japan's Nikkei average climbed 1.5 percent to a six-week closing high on Monday, with exporters boosted by the dollar's surge against the yen late last week after better-than-expected U.S. jobs data fanned recovery hopes.

European stocks dropped 1.1 percent in morning trade, reversing sharp gains made on Friday, led lower by banking shares such as Barclays and HSBC that were hit by news that Britain was still considering some kind of windfall tax on bankers' bonuses.

U.S. stocks climbed on Friday as data showed the economy shed far fewer jobs than expected last month, brightening the outlook for the economy and profits.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> gained 22.75 points, or 0.22 percent, to end at 10,388.90. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> added 6.06 points, or 0.55 percent, to finish at 1,105.98. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> rose 21.21 points, or 0.98 percent, to close at 2,194.35.

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Hans Peters)