Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open on Monday, ahead of fresh earnings reports, as market sentiment improved amid hopes of progress in tackling Italy's financial crisis and as the Bank of Japan's easing policy continued to support.
Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.48% increase, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.56% advance, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.72% gain.
Sentiment found some support after Italy re-elected President Giorgio Napolitano on Saturday, an important development as the country attempts to break an ongoing political deadlock.
Meanwhile, investors remained focused on the yen, which weakened across the board after the Group of 20 nations said Japan's recent policy actions are aimed at beating deflation and not at competitively weakening the yen.
Auto stocks were expected to be active, following reports General Motors is planning to add four new plants in the next three years in China to bring its production capacity to 5 million vehicles a year.
Aircraft manufacturer Boeing is also likely to be in focus, as the company has started installing reinforced lithium ion batteries on five grounded 787 jets, in the hope that the first commercial Dreamliners will be ready to fly again in a week's time.
In the tech sector, Dutch company Royal Philips Electronics reported first-quarter profit that missed analysts' estimates on declining sales at its lighting and health-care businesses, sending shares down 3.67% in pre-market trade.
Separately, Blackstone Group reportedly pulled out on Friday of bidding for Dell amid concerns about a worsening global PC slump.
Other stocks in focus included Netflix, Caterpillar, Halliburton and Texas Instruments, all slated to report earnings later in the day.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were higher. The EURO STOXX 50 gained 0.77%, France's CAC 40 climbed 0.56%, Germany's DAX advanced 0.76%, while Britain's FTSE 100 rose 0.74%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index added 0.14%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index rallied 1.89%.
Later in the day, the U.S. was to release private sector data on existing home sales.
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