U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open Monday, despite news out of Moscow that suicide bomber blasts have killed at least 37 people in that city's subway system.
Wall Street's major averages barely moved over the past few sessions, and it's possible investors could see some more malaise ahead of Friday's widely-anticipated March employment report. Unusually, the report is released during a market holiday at its usual time of 8:30 am New York time.
The U.S. stock market is coming off its fourth consecutive week of gains, and is on track for a second straight monthly gain and a fourth consecutive quarterly gain as the end of the first quarter approaches.
European shares were higher with miners leading the gains. Asian stocks ended mixed, but China's Shanghai Composite Index ended firmly in the green.
Futures shaved a few points off earlier gains on news that consumer spending was a bit higher in February but income was flat.
In the auto sector, Ford finally saw the completion of the near-$2 billion deal to sell its Volvo unit to China'sGeely. Rival automaker In addition, Toyota struck a deal to provide its hybrid technology to Mazda. And Chrysler is said to be accelerating the U.S. launch of its redesigned Chrysler 300 sedan as part of its turnaround plan that's being overseen by new owner Fiat.
Ford shares rose 1.3 percent in premarket trading
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation has not yet signed off on the bankruptcy reorganization plan filed by Washington Mutual, according to the Wall Street Journal, which could affect the $1.4 billion dollar tax refund to JPMorgan Chase , which bought WaMu's banking subsidiary in 2008. JPMorgan shares rose about 1 percent premarket.
Elsewhere, Boeing completed a crucial testing milestone for its long-delayed 787 Dreamliner.
And the board of mall-operator General Growth Properties meets Monday, reportedly to give final approval to a bankruptcy reorganization plan.
In deal news, Swedish telecomm equipment vendor Ericsson said it has signed framework agreements worth $1.8 billion to provide network equipment for China Mobile and China Unicom. US-traded shares of Ericson gained nearly 2 percent premarket.
CNBC' reported that Morgan Stanley won the competition to underwrite and advise on the sale of the U.S. government's stake inCitigroup . Morgan shares gained about 1 percent premarket.
Meanwhile, a Chinese court sentenced four ex-Rio Tinto employees to 7 to 14 years in jail on bribery and theft charges.
- Written by Peter Schacknow, Senior Producer, CNBC Breaking News Desk.