NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) -- U.S. stocks were pointing to a higher open Monday on a strong start to the holiday shopping season and promising news out of Europe.

Futures for the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

were adding 254 points, or 231 points above fair value, to 11,441. Futures for the

S&P 500

were up 32.6 points, or 28.9 points above fair value, to 1186. Futures for the

Nasdaq

were rising 52.7 points, or 49.4 points above fair value, to 2200.

Stocks were gaining amid record Black Friday sales following the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. Store sales shot up 6.6% from a year ago to $11.4 billion, according to ShopperTrak. Online sales surged 24.3% from the previous year, according to IBM's Coremetrics scale.

Stocks failed to hold gains during a shortened trading session Friday as investors weighed the latest developments in Europe amid the Black Friday shopping frenzy.

Investor sentiment also received a boost from reports that the European rescue fund might insure up to 30% of the region's sovereign bonds. There also media reports saying that the International Monetary Fund is setting aside €600 billion ($804 billion) in aid for Italy to prepare for a worsening of the debt crisis. The IMF denied the reports.

President Barack Obama will reportedly pressure European Union officials Monday to resolve the region's debt crisis, as European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso arrive at the White House for talks on cross-Atlantic trade and investments.

London's FTSE was rising 2.2% and Germany's DAX was gaining 3.4%. Japan's Nikkei Average settled up 1.56% and Hong Kong's Hang Seng index closed 1.97% higher.

In U.S. economic news, the Commerce Department releases new-home sales data for October at 10 a.m. EST. Economists surveyed by

Reuters

are expecting a total of 315,000 annualized units, up from 313,000 units in September.

In corporate news,

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

is considering an offer to divest a significantly larger portion of assets than it had initially expected to salvage its $39 billion merger with

T-Mobile USA,

according to a

Bloomberg

report. AT&T shares were rising 1.6% in premarket trading Monday.

Retailers that opened at midnight or earlier on Black Friday, like

Wal-Mart

(WMT) - Get Report

,

Target

(TGT) - Get Report

,

Macy's

(M) - Get Report

,

Kohl's

(KSS) - Get Report

and

Best Buy

(BBY) - Get Report

, saw on average a 24% boost in their conversion (the number of shoppers that actually made a purchase), according to the NPD Group, a consumer research firm. Best Buy and Wal-Mart shares were gaining 6.2% and 2%.

The January crude oil contract was gaining $2.78 to trade at $99.55 a barrel. Gold for December delivery was surging by $26.50 at $1,712 an ounce.

The benchmark 10-year Treasury was down 27/32, raising the yield to 2.061%. The dollar was falling against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index down 0.8%.

-- Written by Andrea Tse in New York

.