Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, November 23, 2010. REUTERS

The U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open Monday ahead of the Commerce Department's retail sales report and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York's Empire State Manufacturing Survey.

The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.36 percent, the futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were up 0.20 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were up 0.33 percent.

Investors are also likely to focus on the September retail sales report due at 8:30 a.m. EDT Monday. Economists predict the report, measuring change in the total value of inflation-adjusted sales at the retail level, will show a 0.8 percent increase against a 0.9 percent rise in August. Meanwhile, core retail sales excluding autos, are expected to grow 0.6 percent, compared to the 0.8 percent rise in August.

The Empire State Manufacturing Survey for October is scheduled for release at 8:30 a.m. EDT Monday. Economists expect the index, which rates the relative level of the general business conditions in New York state, will show a reading of -4.5, compared to -10.4 in September. A less than zero reading signals worsening conditions. In addition to New York, the index covers northern New Jersey and southern Connecticut.

On Friday, the U.S. markets mostly fell as investors maintained a cautious mode with revival of concerns about weakening global economic growth. According to data released by the Labor Department Friday, the Producer Price Index, which measures the change in the price of goods sold by manufacturers, rose 1.1 percent in September after a 1.7 percent increase in August.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average marginally rose 0.02 percent, the S&P 500 Index was down 0.30 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.17 percent.

European markets rose Monday as investor confidence was lifted by hopes that after the European Union Council meeting on Oct. 18-19 in Brussels, Spain will seek bailout funds and Greece will shortly receive the required rescue package needed to overcome the financial instability it is facing.

London's FTSE 100 was up 6.87 points, Germany's DAX 30 index rose 28.20 points and France's CAC 40 gained 27.62 points.

Asian stocks were mixed Monday as investor sentiment was weighed down by concerns of a weakening global economy, which undermined the data from China showing lowering of inflation rate in September. Data from the National Bureau of Statistics released Monday show that the consumer price index of China rose 1.9 percent in September from a year earlier, down from 2 percent in August.