Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on May 1, 2012.
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. REUTERS

U.S. stock index futures point to a flat open Monday ahead of the U.S. Commerce Department's factory orders report.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.06 percent, futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were down 0.03 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were down 0.05 percent.

Investors are likely to focus on the Commerce Department's factory orders report to be released later Monday. The report, which measures the change in the total value of the new purchase orders placed with manufacturers each month, is expected to rise 2.2 percent in December after remaining unchanged in November. The report will also include a revision of the durable goods orders data released about a week earlier, as well as the new data on non-durable goods order.

Investors will continue to focus on earnings reports with Gannett Co. Inc. (NYSE:GCI), Sysco Corp. (NYSE:SYY), Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD), Hologic Inc. (NASDAQ:HOLX) and Yum Brands Inc. (NYSE:YUM) expected to announce their quarterly results Monday.

On Friday, the U.S. stocks gained as investor confidence was lifted amid encouraging economic indicators. According to data released Friday by the Institute for Supply Management, Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index, which rates the relative level of business conditions including employment, production, new orders, prices, supplier deliveries, and inventories, rose to 53.1 in January up from 50.2 in December. Significantly, the index remained in the expansion zone with a reading above 50.

Meanwhile, according to the data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nonfarm payrolls report, which measures the change in the number of people employed in the previous month, excluding the farming industry, rose to 157,000 in January down from 196,000 reported in December. Also, as per the data released Friday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment report, which measures the percentage of the total workforce that was unemployed and actively seeking employment in the previous month, marginally rose to 7.9 percent in January from 7.8 percent in December.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.08 percent, the S&P 500 Index was up 1.01 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index gained 1.18 percent.

European markets fell Monday with London's FTSE 100 moving down 11.43 points, Germany's DAX 30 index falling 8.77 points and France's CAC 40 declining 4 points.

Asian stock markets rose Monday with China’s Shanghai Composite gaining 9.13 points, Japan’s Nikkei moving up 69.01 points and India’s Sensex advancing 76.48 points. Japan's monetary base rose in January in comparison to the same period last year. According to the data released Monday by the Bank of Japan (BoJ), the country’s monetary base advanced 10.9 percent in January from an 11.8 percent rise in December.