Futures Rise as Economic Fears Subside

US stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open for Wall Street Monday, following the best weekly gains for the Dow and the S&P 500 in more than three months.

Investors are still keeping an eye on the Greek debt crisis but extreme concern seems to have abated for now, along with the idea that the Federal Reserve's discount rate hike last week may signal an imminent change in overall monetary policy.

Asian stocks ended up, as risk appetite improved, while European shares edged up as well.

The National Association for Business Economics has raised its forecast for this year's economic growth, saying the U.S. economy would expand at a 3.1 percent rate this year. That compares with its November forecast of a 2.9 percent growth rate.

In early earnings news, home improvement giant Lowe's reported earnings of 14 cents a share that beat analyst estimates The company's shares gained 1.5 percent in premarket trading after briefly falling.

Campbell's Soup said its sales fell 5 percent but its profit of 74 cents a share met analyst estimates. Shares edged higher premarket.

Retailers Nordstrom and RadioShack are scheduled to release their quarterly numbers after today's closing bell.


Investors will also watch Smith International, as it agrees to be bought by oilfield services rival Schlumberger in an $11.3 billion stock deal. Smith shares rose 7 percent premarket while Schlumberger fell more than 5 percent.

Toyota is likely to remain in the spotlight ahead of Wednesday's Congressional hearing featuring an appearance by President and CEO Akio Toyoda. A memo that became public over the weekend says Toyota saved more than 100 million dollars by getting U.S. regulators to agree to a cheaper fix for its floor mat problem that led to a recall.

Health care stocks will also be in focus, as President Obama proposes giving the government new power to block health insurance companies from instituting excessive rate hikes. His full plan will be posted on the White House website at 10 am.

A busy week for economic data gets off to a slow start, with nothing scheduled for Monday release, but San Francisco Federal Reserve President Janet Yellen has a speech scheduled for 11 am New York time.

- Written by Peter Schacknow, Senior Producer, CNBC Breaking News Desk.