Futures gained Monday as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German chancellor Angela Merkel met in Berlin to discuss ways to boost growth in the euro zone and to finalize a deal to increase fiscal coordination within the currency union.
Sarkozy and Merkel said they want EU states to complete their negotiations on a planned new treaty in the coming days soit could be signed on March 1.
Meanwhile, Germany sold 3.9 billion euros ($4.9 billion) in six-month T-Bills, and the yield was negative for the first time in a money market auction.
European shares rose in choppy trading, rebounding from the previous week's sharp pullback, helped by gains in the defensive stocks.
Investors will be closely watching Italy and Spain's bond auctions later this week.
Bristol-Myers Squibb has agreed to acquire Inhibitex for about $2.5 billion to gain access to its promising hepatitis C treatment.
Aluminum producer Alcoa is scheduled to report after the bell, marking the unofficial start to the fourth-quarter earnings season. Banking giant JPMorgan is slated to post on Friday.
Fourth-quarter earnings are expected to gain 7.8 percent from a year ago, according to Reuters, down from a July outlook for growth of 17.6 percent.
Elsewhere analysts and executives at the Detroit auto show said they expected 2012 U.S. auto sales to grow 4 percent to 9 percent, the third consecutive annual gain. The only reason automakers are not more bullish is the risk that the sovereign debt crisis in Europe may trigger a broader slowdown.
General Motors and its joint ventures sold 2.55 million vehicles in China in 2011, up 8.3 percent from a year earlier.
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez said on Sunday that his country would not recognize any ruling by a World Bank tribunal in a multibillion-dollar arbitration case with Exxon Mobil.
Lions Gate Entertainment is nearing a deal to buy "Twilight" movie producer Summit Entertainment for about $400 million, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters on Sunday.
On the economic front, the Conference Board releases its employment trend index for December at 10am ET.
The Federal Reserve issues consumer credit data for November at 3:00pm ET. Economists in a Reuters poll forecast consumer credit will rise $7 billion versus a $7.65 billion increase in October.
The Federal Reserve launched a potentially controversial push to revive the battered U.S. housing market, calling on other government officials to act after largely exhausting its own tools to support the fragile economic recovery.
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On Tap This Week:
MONDAY: Atlanta Fed Pres speaks, consumer credit; Earnings from Alcoa
TUESDAY: NFIB small biz optimism index, wholesale trade, San Francisco Fed Pres speaks, Kansas City Fed Pres speaks, 3-yr note auction, New Hampshire Primary
WEDNESDAY: Weekly mortgage apps, Atlanta Fed Pres speaks, oil inventories, Philadelphia Fed Pres speaks, 10-yr note auction, Beige Book, Monti/Merkel meet; Earnings from Lennar, Chevron interim results
THURSDAY: BoE announcement, ECB announcement, jobless claims, retail sales, business inventories, 30-yr bond auction
FRIDAY: International trade, import & export prices, consumer sentiment, Richmond Fed Pres speaks; Earnings from JPMorgan