(By Balaseshan) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a modestly higher open on the Wall Street for the last trading session of the year as investors await talks in Washington over the looming "fiscal cliff".
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures gained 76 points to 12,853. The Nasdaq futures added 13 points to 2,599. Standard and Poor's 500 futures rose 11.90 points to 1,395.10.
On Friday, U.S. stocks ended sharply lower amid uncertainty whether an agreement will be reached by the year-end deadline to avert the looming "fiscal cliff".
President Barack Obama and lawmakers are negotiating to address the so-called "fiscal cliff" of roughly $600 billion in spending cuts and tax increases set to begin in January.
The Senate reconvenes on Monday after the open of equity trading with only hours to find some sort of stop-gap deal that would also have to be passed by the House of Representatives, according to the Reuters.
There are no U.S. economic data set for release on Monday. The stock market will close on Tuesday for the New Year holiday.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: BMY, FB, INTC, DUF, CALM
In corporate news, Bristol Myers Squibb Co. (NYSE: BMY) rose 1.76 percent in premarket after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the anti-clotting drug Eliquis (apixaban). Eliquis is manufactured Bristol-Myers Squibb and marketed by BMS and Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE).
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) gained 1.69 percent in premarket. BMO Capital Markets has resumed coverage of Facebook with an "Outperform" rating, up from previous "Underperform" rating.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) rose 1.24 percent in premarket after rumors that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is developing an iWatch smartphone with Intel chip for 2013.
Duff & Phelps Corp. (NYSE: DUF) may be in focus. The company has agreed to be bought by a consortium that includes The Carlyle Group, Stone Point Capital LLC, Pictet & Cie and Edmond de Rothschild Group for $15.55 per share or about $665.5 million.
Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: CALM) fell 5.38 percent in premarket after the producer of shell eggs reported a 38.6% drop in quarterly earnings due to higher costs for corn and soybean meal, primary feed ingredients, and additional expenses related to recent acquisitions.
European markets traded mixed, with Germany's DAX losing 0.57 percent to trade at 7,612.39. France's CAC40 rose 0.58 percent to trade at 3,641.07. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 fell 0.47 percent to trade at 5,897.81.
Asian markets ended mixed, with China's Shanghai Stock Exchange Composite Index up 1.61 percent to finish at 2,269.13. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index fell 0.04 percent to end at 22,656.92. India's BSE Sensex ended at 19,426.71, up 0.09 percent. The Japanese market is shut for a holiday.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures dipped 0.64 percent to $90.22 per barrel. Gold futures gained 0.22 percent to $1,660.00 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro shed 0.19 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3191, while the British pound added 0.16 percent to 1.6176. The dollar gained 0.26 percent against the Japanese yen to 86.1800.