(By Balachander) U.S. stock-index futures pointed to a higher opening on the Wall Street ahead of the results of parliamentary elections in Italy.
Mini Dow Industrial Average futures climbed 55 points to 14,036. The Nasdaq futures rose 18.50 points to 2,754.25. Standard and Poor's 500 futures added 6.60 points to 1,521.30.
On the domestic data front, the Dallas Federal Reserve's manufacturing survey at 10:30 am ET is expected to show a reading of 3 in February from 5.5 in January.
Other reports of economic interest due to be released over the week include: new home sales, pending home sales, durable goods orders, jobless claims and Institute for Supply Management's manufacturing survey, consumer confidence data, personal income and spending and fourth quarter GDP data.
Initial estimates of the Italy poll results will be published after 2 p.m. GMT today.
On Friday, U.S. stocks ended sharply higher as strong business confidence data from Germany and upbeat results and guidance from Hewlett-Packard Co. buoyed sentiment.
Hot Stocks Of The Day: LOW, HTZ, CTB, BKS, DNDN, AFFY
Lowe's Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) rose 0.61 percent in premarket after the home improvement retailer posted better-than-expected results for the fourth quarter.
Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) added 5.45 percent in premarket after the car and equipment rental businesses company reported better-than-expected quarterly results due to improving pricing and the positive impact of strategic investments.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE: CTB) jumped 6.34 percent in premarket posted quarterly results, beating expectations, helped by sales growth and lower raw material costs.
Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) surged 12.88 percent in premarket after the bookseller said it received proposal from Chairman Leonard Riggio to buy all assets of the retail business.
Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN) gained 3.53 percent in premarket after the biotechnology company reported a loss for the fourth quarter amid an increase in net product revenue.
Affymax Inc. (NASDAQ: AFFY) plunged 81.66 percent in premarket after the biopharmaceutical company announced voluntarily recall of Omontys, an anemia therapy for dialysis patients as a result of new postmarketing reports regarding serious hypersensitivity reactions.
European markets traded in green as investors awaited Italy poll results, with Germany's DAX up 2.40 percent to trade at 7,845.96. France's CAC40 rallied 1.82 percent to trade at 3,773.69. The U.K.'s FTSE 100 rose 0.63 percent to trade at 6,375.78.
Asian markets ended higher. The Shanghai Composite Index added 0.50 percent to end at $2,325.82. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 2.43 percent to end at 11,662.52. Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.17 percent to close at 22,820.08. India's Sensex closed at 19,331.69, up 0.08 percent.
Commodity & Currency Scan
Ahead of the opening bell, crude oil futures traded 1.02 percent higher at $94.06 per barrel. Gold futures gained 1.16 percent to $1,591 per ounce.
In the currency market, the euro rose 0.85 percent against the U.S. dollar to 1.3306, while the British pound shed 0.17 percent to 1.5137. The dollar advanced 0.60 percent against the Japanese yen at 93.9800.