Stock index futures rose slightly ahead of the open Monday as investors waited for direction from Federal Reserve speakers at the start of a week which will see central bank policy decisions take center stage.
Stocks started the second quarter solidly, closing higher on Friday amid optimism over a recovery in the labor market after data showed a drop in unemployment.
The recovery in the jobs market will prompt speculation on when the Federal Reserve will start tightening monetary policy.
The European Central Bank is poised to raise interest rates on Thursdayto curb rising inflation, leaving investors to wonder when other central banks will follow suit.
Comments by Federal Reserve Presidents will be closely watched in light of the ECB’s rate-setting meeting this week. The Bank of England and the Bank of Japan also meet this week.
Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart and Chicago Fed President Charles Evans both speak on Monday morning, while Fed chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at the Atlanta Fed's financial markets conference at 7 pm New York time.