By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures rose solidly Monday as confidence returned that global growth won't be curtailed by the European debt crisis, helped in part by an upbeat economic report from the euro zone.
Futures for the S&P 500 /quotes/comstock/21z!i1:in\x (SPX 1,098, +6.30, +0.58%) added 9.3 points to 1,094.30 and Nasdaq 100 futures advanced 16.5 points to 1,859. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average /quotes/comstock/10w!i:dji/delayed (DJIA 10,261, +47.99, +0.47%) rose 75 points.
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Eurostat said earlier that euro-zone industrial production climbed 0.8% in April, or a 9.5% year-on-year increase. On an annual basis, industrial production rose in every euro-zone country except Greece and Ireland.
The Dow industrials closed 2.8% higher last week, to snap a three-period losing run. Despite disappointing U.S. retail sales, a lack of bad news from Europe helped contribute to the advance in equities.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, speaking overnight in Tokyo, said he expects an Asian-led world economic recovery to continue, and also said he didn't see evidence of a Chinese bubble. See full story.
"The big picture is that rapid Chinese growth can easily be reconciled with the fundamentals, and so the risk of a sudden slowdown in China derailing the global recovery, while certainly not zero, seems limited," he said, adding he doesn't think the European debt crisis will derail the economic recovery.
Global strategists at Nomura said stock markets have overreacted to negative news, noting the credit markets haven't been as volatile: "The coming earnings announcement season should provide the catalyst for equity investors to focus on the value on offer and for equities to recover."
There was some activity on the merger front.
France's AXA /quotes/comstock/24s!e:cs (FR:CS 13.44, +0.32, +2.44%) is in talks to sell its U.K. life-insurance arm for $4 billion to Resolution /quotes/comstock/23s!e:rsl (UK:RSL 60.30, 0.00, 0.00%) , the companies said.
Closer to home, Cablevision Systems /quotes/comstock/13*!cvc/quotes/nls/cvc (CVC 23.14, -0.26, -1.11%) reached a deal to buy privately held Bresnan Communications for $1.4 billion and announced a $500 million stock-buyback plan.
And Mosaic Co. /quotes/comstock/13*!mos/quotes/nls/mos (MOS 45.25, +0.01, +0.02%) , the Plymouth, Minn.-based producer of phosphate and potash fertilizers, is discussing the possible acquisition of Mexican fertilizer producer Grupo Fertinal SA in a deal valued at as much as $1 billion, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal.
Meanwhile, Onyx Pharmaceuticals /quotes/comstock/15*!onxx/quotes/nls/onxx (ONXX 23.91, +1.08, +4.73%) may be active after it and partner Bayer said a late-stage trial of Nexavar showed the drug wasn't successful in prolonging survival in lung cancer patients.
BP /quotes/comstock/13*!bp/quotes/nls/bp (BP 31.88, -2.09, -6.15%) dropped nearly 4% in premarket trading as the oil giant's board of directors was due to meet to discuss dividend payments, and as the Obama administration over the weekend called for the BP to set up an independent escrow account to pay claims to those affected by the oil spill.
With markets in Australia, China and the Philippines closed, stocks in Asia were generally stronger, with Tokyo's Nikkei 225 Average up 1.8% and the Hang Seng Index up 1.2% in Hong Kong.
In early afternoon trading, the Stoxx Europe 600 benchmark climbed 1.1%.
In commodities, crude-oil futures rallied on near the $76 a barrel mark, while gold futures were treading water.
In currencies, the euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd (CUR_EURUSD 1.2238, +0.0113, +0.9320%) climbed, rising 1.2% to $1.2253.
Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's London bureau chief.