NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a stronger open Monday as investors mull the possibility of action from the Federal Reserve to bolster the U.S. economy. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up by 158 points, or 179 points above fair value, at 10,978. Futures for the S&P 500 were higher by 19 points, or 21 points above fair value, at 1143, and Nasdaq futures were ahead by 39 points, or 43 points above fair value. Stocks dropped Friday, closing a volatile session as investors sought clarity on the European sovereign debt crisis. Investors are hoping for some type of action from the U.S. central bank when Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke gives a speech on Friday during a summit of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo. Oil prices are rising on news that Libyan rebels took most of Tripoli . The October crude oil contract was gaining $1.07 to trade at $83.48 a barrel. The FTSE in London was gaining 2.4% and the DAX in Frankfurt was adding 1.4%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng rose 0.5% while Japan's Nikkei declined 1%.
Economic activity in the Chicago region improved slightly in July, even though the level remained in negative territory. The Chicago Fed's National Activity Index rose to a reading of -0.06 in July, from -0.38 in June.
Home-improvement retailer Lowe's ( LOW) has been authorized to buy back up to $5 billion of its common stock . The company said it plans to use the full amount over the next two to three years. Shares were rising 3.5% to $19.99 ahead of Monday's opening bell. Medical technology company Kinetic Concepts ( KCI) got a takeover bid from ConvaTec that tops the agreement that Kinetic reached with funds for $68.50 a share in cash , or $6.3 billion, including debt. Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group ( DTG) said Sunday that it sent a letter to Hertz Global ( HTZ) and Avis Budget ( CAR) asking them to submit their "best and final definitive proposals" on potential mergers by October . Gold for December delivery was up by $10.50 at $1,862.70 an ounce. The benchmark 10-year Treasury was down 16/32, lifting the yield to 2.118%. The dollar weakened against a basket of currencies, with the dollar index down by 0.2%. . -- Written by Melinda Peer in New York.