Futures Higher; Brocade, BofA Post Gains

US stock index futures pointed higher Monday after two tough weeks for Wall Street.

With the kickoff of fourth-quarter earnings just two days away, investors are likely to focus on any significant corporate news that shows the way going forward. The major averages have fallen for four straight sessions and seven of the past eight.

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  • Brocade Communications is putting itself up for sale, according to a Wall Street Journal report that identified Oracle and Hewlett-Packard as possible bidders for the networking and data storage company.

    Brocade shares jumped more than 12 percent in premarket trading off the news.

    Ford may have another interested buyer for Volvo, with the Financial Times reporting that A U.S. led consortium may challenge China's Geely Automotive in bidding for the unit. The consortium is led by former Ford director Michael Dingman and former auto executive Shamel Rushwin. Ford shares edged lower premarket.

    Goldman Sachs shares gained 1.5 percent a day after a report said the company would be due a $1 billion payment should CIT Group file for bankruptcy. The money would come from a financing package Goldman gave the commercial mortgage giant in June 2008, according to the Financial Times.

    Bank of America gained 2 percent following a CNBC report that the company likely would be selecting a successor for departing CEO Ken Lewis within weeks if not sooner.

    Just one economic report of note today, but it's one that's moved the markets in the past: the Institute for Supply Management is out with its monthly nonmanufacturing index at 10am ET. Consensus forecasts call for that number to come in exactly at 50, the dividing line between growth and contraction.

    Britain's service sector expanded at its fastest pace for two years in September, and companies were more optimistic about the next 12 months than at any time since April 2007, data from the UK showed.

    In the euro zone, the services economy returned to growth for the first time in 16 months in September at a slightly better rate than first expected, but job losses increased.

    The Treasury kicks off this week with an auction of $7 billion in Treasury Inflation Protected Securities, or TIPS, with the results available shortly after 1pm ET.

    Peter Schacknow, Senior Producer, CNBC Breaking News Desk, contributed.