(By Balachander) U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on the Wall Street as an upbeat data from China weighed on the sentiment.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures gained 34 points to 12,798. The Nasdaq futures advanced 13 points to 2,593.50. Standard and Poor's 500 futures rose 4.60 points to 1,380.30.
China's export growth jumped to a five-month high of 11.6 percent, data released by the Chinese Customs Office showed. Economists expected an increase of 10 percent. China's trade surplus came in at $31.99 billion in October versus expectations of $27.15 billion.
Meanwhile, euro area finance ministers are set to meet in Brussels to discuss on the aid for Greece. On Sunday, the Greek government passed a new round of austerity package.
The U.S. economic data calendar is empty and bond markets are shut for the Veterans Day holiday.
On Friday, U.S. stocks closed on a modestly higher note as investors weighed an upbeat consumer sentiment data and digested remarks by President Barack Obama on the looming "fiscal cliff". Obama addressed fiscal cliff of roughly $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases that could weigh on economic growth. Obama called for higher taxes on wealthy Americans to address the deficit and invited Congressional leaders to the White House next week to hold talks on averting the cliff.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: AAPL, GILD, CELG, JEF, DHI, BZH, IDCC, TSL
In corporate news, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares rose 0.53 percent in premarket after the technology behemoth announced a global patent settlement and a 10-year licensing deal with and Taiwanese smartphone maker HTC Corp., ending a patent dispute that has been running since 2010.
Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) soared 9.69 percent in premarket after the biopharmaceutical company posted positive results in a mid-stage hepatitis C study.
Celgene Corp. (NASDAQ: CELG) jumped 9.44 percent in premarket after the company's pancreatic cancer treatment Abraxene improved survival rates in a late-stage study.
Jefferies Group Inc. (NYSE: JEF) surged 18.78 percent in premarket after Leucadia National Corp. (NYSE: LUK) agreed to acquire rest of the securities and investment banking firm for roughly $2.76 billion. Leucadia owns around 28.6 percent of the New York-based Jefferies.
D.R. Horton Inc. (NYSE: DHI) added 2.91 percent in premarket after the homebuilder posted better-than-expected quarterly earnings on double-digit rise in closings and backlog, and forecasts increased profitability in fiscal 2013.
Beazer Homes USA Inc. (NYSE: BZH) posted a wider quarterly loss as a loss on debt extinguishment offset rise in revenue and in new orders. Excluding loss on debt extinguishment of $42.4 million, net loss from continuing operations narrowed for the fourth quarter.
InterDigital Inc. (NASDAQ: IDCC) gained 3.88 percent in premarket after the company forecast a sequential increase in patent royalties due to stronger sales volumes from our Japan-based licensees.
Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) may be in focus after the Chinese company slashed its solar module shipments forecast for the third quarter. The maker of solar photovoltaic products cited the downward revision to the continued supply-demand imbalance in the global PV industry, high inventory levels and irrational pricing practices by some competitors in the market.
European markets traded mixed, with Germany's DAX up 0.30 percent to trade at 7,185.08. France's CAC40 shed 0.09 percent to trade at 3,420.50. U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.32 percent to trade at 5,787.87.
Among Asian markets, China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index added 0.49 percent to finish at 2,079.27. Japan's Nikkei 225 dropped 0.93 percent to end at 8,676.44. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index inched up 0.21 percent to end at 21,430.30. India's BSE Sensex closed at 18,670.34, down 0.07 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan:
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures fell 0.36 percent to $85.76 per barrel. Gold futures rose 0.32 percent to $1,736.40 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro gained 0.08 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.2720, and the British pound declined 0.15 percent to 1.5873. The dollar shed 0.11 percent against the Japanese yen to 79.4000.