Stock futures up on Greece but gains limited after rally
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange February 16, 2012. Reuters

U.S. stock index futures point to a higher open on Monday ahead of the National Association of Realtors' existing home sales report.

Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 0.23 percent, the futures on the Standard & Poor's 500 Index were up 0.32 percent and those on the Nasdaq 100 Index were up 0.42 percent.

The report, which measures the change in the annualized number of existing residential homes sold during the previous month, will be released after the opening bell. Economists expect that sales of previously owned U.S. homes will rise to an annualized rate of 5.01 million in March, up from February’s 4.98 million

Also, market participants will continue to focus on earnings reports, with Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), Halliburton Co (NYSE: HAL), Texas Instruments Inc. (Nasdaq: TXN) and Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) expected to announce quarterly results.

U.S. stock markets ended with gains on Friday, as better-than-expected earnings from Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) and other companies lifted tech-related shares. The Dow gained 0.07 percent, the S&P 500 Index was up 0.88 percent and the Nasdaq Composite Index surged 1.25 percent. For the week, however, all of the three major indexes plunged more than two percent, with the S&P 500 reporting its biggest weekly loss in five months.

“Growth concerns came back to the fore last week in the wake of disappointing releases in the U.S. and China as well as a downward revision to global growth forecasts by the IMF," Credit Agricole said in a note to investors. "Data releases this week will not do much to allay growth fears.”

European stock markets advanced in early trade, tracking positive cues from Asia. Germany's DAX 30 gained 0.45 percent, France's CAC 40 advanced 0.42 percent and London's FTSE 100 rose 0.49 percent.

Asian stock markets mostly ended on a positive note, led by gains in Japanese shares after the Group of 20 finance chiefs' meeting refrained from criticizing the Bank of Japan's aggressive monetary easing measures.

Japanese Nikkei closed 1.89 percent higher after climbing as much as 2.2 percent in intraday trade to touch its highest level since June 2008, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng gained 0.14 percent and South Korea’s Kospi Composite Index advanced 1.03 percent, while Chinese Shanghai Composite Index declined 0.11 percent.