NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were slightly higher on Monday morning after a volatile session on Friday in which data showed more jobs added to U.S. payrolls in December but a dip in average wages.
"Markets appear to have received the message that the data biases Fed rate hikes later -- not sooner," Gennadiy Goldberg, TD Securities' U.S. strategist, wrote in a note. "Improvement in wage momentum over the next several months will continue to keep September rate hikes in play."
S&P 500 futures gained 0.16%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures added 0.16%, and Nasdaq futures climbed 0.2%.
Despite heavy selloffs early last week, benchmark indexes remain close to all-time highs. However, Goldman Sachs chief U.S. equity strategist, David Kostin, said he believes a pullback from records could be seen at the end of February.
"The U.S. equity markets are likely to experience a pullback some time in the next 4-6 weeks and that would be pretty consistent with the magnitude of an extreme reading we see in the commodities futures trading corporation data," he told CNBC.
Crude oil for February delivery fell 3.2% on Monday to $46.82 a barrel. Earlier, Goldman analysts said crude needed to trade at $40 a barrel "for longer" so that investment in shale can be restricted and the global demand-supply balance returned.
European markets were surging with stock markets in Germany and France more than 1% higher. Upward momentum has been strong over recent trading sessions on speculation over the quantitative easing measures that could be announced after the European Central Bank meets on Jan. 22.
Earnings season will begin in earnest after the bell with the unofficial kickoff from aluminum giant Alcoa (AA) .
Major banks will disclose their quarterly figures later in the week, beginning with JPMorgan (JPM) and Wells Fargo (WFC) on Wednesday. Aggregate earnings over the quarter are forecast to increase 4.6% to an average $29.66, according to S&P Capital IQ.
The health care sector was moving higher in premarket trading as a number of pharmaceutical deals were announced. NPS Pharmaceuticals (NPSP) jumped more than 8% after drugmaker Shire (SHPG) disclosed its agreement to purchase the mid-cap company for $5.2 billion, or $46 a share.
Switzerland-based Roche (RHHBY) announced it will acquire a majority of Foundation Medicine (FMI) for more than $1 billion. Foundation has been developing gene-sequencing technology to identify tumors and suitable treatments. Foundation spiked 106%.
Biogen (BIIB) was 1% higher after announcing a $675 million buyout of Convergence Pharmaceuticals, which has developed a portfolio of neuropathic pain treatments.
--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York.