Reports that retailers Office Depot Inc. and OfficeMax Inc. are discussing a combination come after several major deals in recent weeks.
Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 19 at 13,967. S&P 500 futures 3 to 1,520. Nasdaq 100 futures added 8.25 to 2,769.50.
The positive activity follows gains in Europe, where signs that the Germany economy is picking up steam is helping lift major indexes. Germany's DAX is up 1.2 percent at 7,717. France's CAC-40 is 1 percent higher at 3,723. Britain's FTSE 100 index is 0.6 percent higher at 5,735.
Asian markets were mostly down amid concern about Chinese real estate curbs.