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Wall Street poised to open higher after Italy referendum, Fed's Dudley speech

Andrew Renneisen | Getty Images

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Monday as traders continued to digest a drop in unemployment to its lowest level in almost a decade and a speech from New York Federal Reserve President William Dudley.

Unemployment dropped to 4.6 percent and is now at its lowest since August 2007 while job gains continued to be strong in November, coming in at 178,000, in line with this year's average of 180,000.

The expectation among investors is for the Federal Reserve to hike interest rates at its meeting later in December. In his speech, Dudley said he favors gradual rate hikes if the U.S. economy stays on track.

Investors also digested a key referendum in Italy, with Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi expected to resign after a "clear" rejection of legislative reform measures.

On the data front, Monday will see the ISM non-manufacturing index data released at 10 a.m. ET.

In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was around 0.57 percent higher on Monday morning after Italy voters opted against constitutional reform resulting in Prime Minister Matteo Renzi's expected resignation.

In Asia, the Shanghai Composite in China closed 1.2 percent lower, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 0.82 percent lower.

In oil markets, Brent crude traded at around $54.91 a barrel on Monday, up 0.84 percent, while U.S. crude was around $52.09 a barrel, up 0.79 percent.

—CNBC's Patti Domm contributed to this report