U.S. stock futures ticked higher Monday, with the main indexes advancing by at least 0.4%.
Results are due later in the week from companies including Yum! Brands (Fortune 500), , JPMorgan (Fortune 500) and , Wells Fargo (Fortune 500), and investors will be looking for signs of economic growth working through into stronger revenues. ,
"Sales have got to start coming through," said fund manager Fiona Harris from J.P. Morgan Asset Management. "We believe the relatively sluggish U.S. sales growth could start to weigh heavily if we don't see improvement soon."
In economic news, the Federal Reserve is set to release its monthly report on consumer credit at 3 p.m. ET.
According to Kit Juckes of Societe Generale in London, among the issues standing out for global investors in the week ahead are a speech by Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke's on Wednesday, a possible "Scotch tape solution" to Portugal's economic crisis and concerns about the slowdown in China's economy.
But Asian markets ended in the red. The Hang Seng index and the Nikkei in Japan both dropped by more than 1%. The Shanghai Composite index fell even further, down by 2.4%, on continuing concerns about slowing growth in China.
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