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Wall Street poised for strong start on Greek hopes

U.S. stock markets were poised for a strong start on Monday amid hopes of progress on talks to avert a debt default in Greece.

The Eurogroup of euro zone finance ministers concluded a meeting in Brussels on Monday and will meet again later in the week on the Greek debt crisis, EU Vice President Valdis Dombrovskis said in a Reuters report.

The European Union on Monday welcomed new proposals from Athens as a "good basis for progress." Greece and its global creditors hope to secure an eleventh-hour deal to pull the cash-strapped country back from brink of bankruptcy.

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Optimism about a deal on Greece set the tone for global stock markets – European shares soared in early trade, with stock markets in Germany and France more than 2 percent higher.

U.S. equity futures were stronger across the board, with the Dow Jones industrial average index futures jumping more than 100 points.

"Once again, all eyes will be on Greece on Monday and whether it can come to an agreement with its creditors and avoid a default and possible messy exit from the euro zone," Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at currency trading firm OANDA.

A man wears a Greek flag during a pro-government rally calling on Greece's European and International Monetary creditors to soften their stance in the cash-for-reforms talks in Athens, Greece, June 17, 2015.
Paul Hanna | Reuters
A man wears a Greek flag during a pro-government rally calling on Greece's European and International Monetary creditors to soften their stance in the cash-for-reforms talks in Athens, Greece, June 17, 2015.

"Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras put forward new proposals on Sunday which he hopes will convince the institutions to release the €7.2 billion that was agreed back in February," he said. "It's unlikely to be as simple as that, as it never is with Greece, but already the proposal has been labelled a "good basis for progress", which offers some hope."

Talks on a cash-for-reforms deal have been deadlocked for months, fuelling concerns about Greece's future in the euro zone. But Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Sunday showed a new willingness to make concessions that would unlock aid needed to avoid a default.

There has been intense speculation that if no deal is reached, Athens would need to impose capital controls to avoid a banking crisis as savers withdraw their bank deposits.

The European Central Bank raised the ceiling on emergency liquidity for Greek banks for the third time in six days, a banking source told Reuters on Monday.

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U.S. existing home sales data at 10 a.m. ET could return market focus back to the economic outlook.

Stocks rallied last week after a statement from the Federal Reserve was viewed as dovish, but suggested there could be one or more rate hikes this year as the economy improves.

Companies reporting earnings this session include Banco De Credito E Inversiones, Ennis Inc, Sonic Corp and Walter Energy.

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Energy Transfer Equity LP meanwhile could fall under the spotlight after the energy assets portfolio firm confirmed an unsolicited $48 billion big for natural gas firm Williams Companies, according to Reuters.