NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Stock futures pointed to a stronger open Monday as investors cheered better-than-expected earnings from Exxon Mobil ( XOM) and December increases in personal income and spending. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up by 33 points, or more than 33 points below fair value, at 11,808. Futures for the S&P 500 were higher by 6 points, or 4 points above fair value, at 1,277, and Nasdaq futures were ahead by 7 points, or 6 points above fair value. Stocks plunged Friday as antigovernment demonstrations intensified in Egypt. Dim earnings from Ford ( F) and Microsoft ( MSFT) also pressured shares.
Protests against Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak's 30-year rule continued over the weekend, heightening the uncertainty and creating concerns about surrounding governments and the potential impact on oil supplies. Moody's downgraded Egypt's government bond rating to Ba2 from Ba1 and changed the outlook to negative from stable. The move follows a similar outlook change from Fitch last week. Hong Kong's Hang Seng shed 0.7%, and Japan's Nikkei lost 1.2%. London's FTSE was declining by 0.4%, and the DAX in Frankfurt was also down by 0.4%. Exxon Mobil said earnings rose 53% in the fourth quarter, and the oil company topped expectations for earnings of $1.63 a share with a profit of $1.85 a share. Sales were also better than expected at $105.19 billion, compared with the $99.11 billion that analysts had forecast. Exxon's stock was up by 1.2% at $79.95. The Commerce Department said personal income rose 0.4% in December as personal spending gained 0.7%, compared with increases of 0.3% and 0.4%, respectively, in November. The growth was largely in line with expectations. According to Briefing.com, economists had projected personal income growth of 0.5% and personal spending was slated to increase by 0.6%. Personal income expenditures were unchanged in December after rising 0.1% in November. The market had been anticipating an uptick of 0.1%.
At 9:45 a.m, the market will get a read on manufacturing activity in the Chicago area with the Chicago Institute for Supply Management's purchasing managers index. Wall Street expects the index to fall to 65 in January after December's level of 68.6.
Shares of Massey Energy ( MEE) were up 10.8% to $63.43 ahead of Monday's opening bell on news that it
will be acquired by rival coal supplier Alpha Natural Resources ( ANR). Alpha's stock was down by 6.3% at $54.25. Cnooc ( CEO), China's largest offshore oil and gas producer, will invest up to $1.3 billion in a new agreement with Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), expanding its presence in the U.S. shale oil and gas industry. Chesapeake's stock was ahead by 2.3% at $27.95 in early trading while shares of Cnooc were off by 0.6% at $219.17. In commodity markets, the March crude oil contract was trading 13 cents lower at $89.21 a barrel. The most actively traded April gold contract was down by $14.90 to trade at $1,326.80 an ounce. The dollar weakened against a basket of currencies with the dollar index down by 0.3%. The benchmark 10-year Treasury rose 16/32, diluting the yield to 3.329%. . --Written by Melinda Peer in New York.