* Futures up: Dow 72 pts, S&P 8.75 pts, Nasdaq 20 pts
By Abhiram Nandakumar
April 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Monday as investors brace for the corporate earnings season, with Alcoa set to post first-quarter results after the market closes.
* Big bank earnings are on the cards through the week, starting with JPMorgan Chase & Co on Wednesday.
* Expectations are low for profit growth as companies struggle with a weak global economy, low commodity prices and the strengthening dollar.
* Earnings at S&P 500 companies are expected to have declined 7.6 percent on average in the first quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data.
* Investors are still waiting for a clearer picture on monetary policy, with U.S. Federal Reserve appearing more cautious on rate hikes than the market had expected.
* U.S. President Barack Obama will meet with Yellen on Monday to discuss the economy and Wall Street reform, the White House said on Sunday.
* Oil, which has mostly driven the direction of the stock market this year, was little changed ahead of a planned meeting by producers aimed at freezing output.
* Wall Street closed higher on Friday, but were still down for the week as a rally in crude did little to boost sentiment.
* New York Fed President William Dudley, who is a permanent voting member of the rate-setting Federal Open Market Committee, is due to speak later in the day.
* Yahoo shares were up 1.4 percent at $36.58 premarket after the parent company of Britain’s Daily Mail said it was in talks with potential partners to mount a bid for the company’s Internet assets.
* Home Depot was up 1 percent at $135 after Goldman Sachs raised its price target on the stock.
Futures snapshot at 6:45 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were up 72 points, or 0.41 percent, with 29,632 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 8.75 points, or 0.43 percent, with 208,344 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 20 points, or 0.45 percent, on volume of 29,775 contracts. (Reporting by Abhiram Nandakumar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)