NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures looked to kick the week off in better fashion than the past few trading sessions, though worries ahead of Wednesday's Federal Reserve policy statement lingered.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.4%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 0.38%, and Nasdaq futures added 0.37%.
Stocks have been under pressure as Wall Street focused on whether the Fed might remove its "patient" language from its statement this week, a move that would set into action a possible rate hike later this year.
"While the move will be the next key pivotal step toward the exit, putting a June rate hike in play, [Chair Janet] Yellen will be careful to stress that the Fed will remain data-dependent in gauging the timing of the first rate hike," said TD Securities' Gennadiy Goldberg. "We believe the Fed will want to be 'reasonably confident' that inflation is moving back toward their 2% target before initiating rate hikes, and with inflation momentum set to trough in May, we look for the first hike to be delivered in September."
Since hitting fresh record highs nearly two weeks ago, the S&P 500 has fallen 3% and the Dow has tumbled 2.9% as markets priced in fears of a rate hike sooner than later.
European stock markets continued to receive support from the European Central Bank's quantitative-easing program, now in its second week. Germany's DAX jumped 1.2% on Monday, France's CAC 40 was up 0.86%, and the FTSE 100 in London added 0.53%.
China's Shanghai Composite charged more than 2% higher after Premier Li Keqiang pledged economic reform to address flagging growth in the world's second-largest economy. Keqiang intends to introduce reforms so China can hit its GDP growth forecast of 7% this year.
Crude oil continued to plummet on Monday, briefly dropping below $44 overnight as the U.S. dollar hovered at 12-year highs. West Texas Intermediate fell 1% to $44.40 a barrel, adding to losses suffered last week as rig cuts only dents production and the U.S. faces a possible storage crisis in coming months.
Salix Pharmaceuticals (SLXP) jumped nearly 2% in premarket trading on reports the company has agreed to Valeant Pharmaceutical's (VRX) bid that values Salix at $173 a share. Endo Pharmaceuticals (ENDP), Salix's other potential suitor, was flat in premarket trading.
Microsoft (MSFT) was up slightly before the bell, despite an earnings cut at UBS. Analysts cut earnings estimates for the tech giant based on expected weaker PC demand and the negative impact of foreign exchange.
Garmin (GRMN) fell 1.2% after Oppenheimer downgraded the stock to "perform," arguing that the GPS maker would likely face increased competition as wearables become more common.
General Electric (GE) added 0.32% after agreeing to sell its Australia and New Zealand consumer-lending arm to a group of investors led by investment firm KKR & Co. for $6.3 billion.
Madison Square Garden (MSG) CEO Tad Smith has announced he will leave his position to join Sotheby's (BID) as its CEO. Madison Square Garden and Sotheby's shares were on watch but were little changed before the bell.
Tesla (TSLA) spiked 2.7% after CEO Elon Musk announced a press conference for Thursday in which the alternative carmaker would unveil solutions to "range anxiety." In a tweet, Musk said the announcement would detail a software update for its Model S fleet that would allow the vehicles to drive longer distances between charges.