US stock-index futures crept higher on Monday as investors braced for the start of earnings season after the closing bell.
Profits of companies listed on the S&P 500 may have declined 8.1 per cent in the first quarter from the same period in 2015 in the deepest decline since the financial crisis, data from S&P Global Market Intelligence show.
The fall is forecast to be led by the embattled energy sector, but several other groups, such as financials, are expected to log steep profit drops as well.
Alcoa, an aluminum company, kicks off US earnings season on Monday afternoon. The big US banks follow later in the week.
Meanwhile, US crude oil prices pulled back by 0.7 per cent to $39.44 after soaring almost 8 per cent last week. The US dollar dipped 0.2 per cent against a basket of six world currencies.
*This report has been amended to remove a reference to the US import, export prices report, which is slated for release on Tuesday, not Monday.