U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open for Wall Street Monday, despite surging crude oil pricesand a volatile-early morning trading session in Europe.
Stocks took cues from the oil market much of last week, ending slightly higher for the week.
Oil prices will likely set the tone again on Monday, as prices rose to new 2-½-year highson concerns that civil war was brewing in Libya. Continued unrest in Bahrain intensified concerns about supply disruption, while investors also kept a close eye on top exporter Saudi Arabia, where clerics forbade protests during the weekend.
London Brent crude soared above $117 a barrel, and U.S. light, sweet crude rose above $106. Gold, meanwhile, rose to more than $1,440 an ounceon Middle East concerns.
On Friday, the February jobs report, which showed total nonfarm payrolls rising by 192,000, in line with expectations, failed to lift the market as oil prices soared. The unemployment rate fell to a 8.9 percent, slightly better than expected.
Just as the economy is showing signs of job growth, the jump in oil prices has cast worry across markets that the economic recovery could be threatened if energy prices rise too much and for too long.