US stock futures rose as investors awaited economic data and as Janet Yellen was expected to be confirmed as the new Chair of the Federal Reserve.
The Institute for Supply Management will report its US non-manufacturing PMI for December which is estimated to have jumped to 54.5 from 53.9 in November.
Separately, data may show factory orders in the US rose 1.7% in November compared to a 0.9% fall in October, according to the consensus forecast.
Also in focus, the US Senate is anticipated to confirm Janet Yellen as Fed Chair to succeed Ben Bernanke who steps down at the end of the month. She would take over on February 1st.
"She is exceptionally qualified for the job in terms of experience at the Fed, her good forecasting record, and sound judgment on the economy and asset bubbles," according to Bill Hubard, Chief Economist at Markets.com.
"She is seen as a dove, which is considered a positive by those on the left side of the political spectrum and a negative by those on the right, except for some with a sizeable stock portfolio."
The possible confirmation comes after the Fed last month said it would start reducing monthly bond purchases to $75bn from $85bn.
The central bank also said it would gradually introduce further tapering if the economy continues to recover so investors will be closely watching the Fed's policy meeting this month for its next move.
Meanwhile, trading volumes are expected to pick up this week following the festive period with investors returning to their desks, an increase in economic data and earnings reports.
"This week should go a long way to telling us whether the Fed made the right decision last month in deciding to reduce the pace of its asset purchases, or whether it should have waited for more proof that the recovery is in fact sustainable," said Craig Erlam, Market Analyst at Alpari UK
"If the data is as good as it was in October and November, it would suggest that the Fed did make the correct decision in December."
Acting as a backdrop, the Financial Times writes today on how US shares
- when measured by the cyclically-adjusted price-to-earnings (Cape) multiple - are overpriced. The so-called Shiller Cape for the US stockmarket now stands at 25, almost exactly where it was standing at its last peak, in 2007.
T-Mobile to buy spectrum from Verizon
T-Mobile's shares may move after the US wireless carrier agreed to buy spectrum from Verizon Wireless for about $2.4m.
Intel's Chief Executive Officer Brian Krzanich is set to announce the chipmaker's latest strategy when he speaks at the International Consumer Electronics Show today.
General Electric has announced it will buy some assets from Thermo Scientific for about $1.06bn to grow its life sciences division.