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U.S. stock index futures point higher, data eyed

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Tue, 29 Mar 2011 09:31 AM
Author: Reuters
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* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open, with futures for the S&P 500 <SPc1>, Dow Jones <DJc1> and Nasdaq <NDc1> futures 0.1-0.4 percent higher at 0925 GMT.

* Economic news could be in the spotlight. Investors will eye the U.S. Redbook weekly U.S. retail sales at 1255 GMT, while Standard & Poor releases its S&P Case/Shiller Home Price Index for January at 1300 GMT.

U.S. consumer confidence for March was set for 1400 GMT.

* Earnings could be a focus, with quarterly results expected from Apollo Group <APOL.O>, Lennar Corp <LEN.N>, and McCormick & Company Inc <MKC.N>.

* On Monday, Halliburton Co <HAL.N>, the world's No. 2 oilfield services company, said it would cut first-quarter earnings due to conflicts in the Middle East and North Africa and weather-related events in North America and Australia. [ID:nN2852973]

* BATS Global Markets said it had sent draft rules to regulators and planned to list U.S. public stocks by the fourth quarter, opening the door for companies to float shares somewhere other than the Big Board or Nasdaq. [ID:nN28189759]

* A person familiar with the matter said News Corp <NWSA.O> has held talks to give control of Myspace to the music label-owned video site Vevo.com but the likelihood of a deal was slim. [ID:nL3E7ET083]

* Wal-Mart Stores <WMT.N> will urge the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday to reject the case against female employees who allege the retailer gave women less pay and gave them fewer promotions in the largest class-action sex-discrimination lawsuit ever. [ID:nN28284791]

* On Monday, U.S. stocks fell, with consumer shares hurt after hotel operator Marriott International <MAR.N> said an important financial measure would come in at the low end of its previous outlook. [ID:nN28218932] The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> lost 0.2 percent, the Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 0.3 percent, and the Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> fell 0.5 percent. * European shares slipped 0.4 percent on Tuesday, with the energy and banking sectors featuring among the worst performers.

BP <BP.L> fell following a report the company's managers may face manslaughter charges following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and a broker downgrade. [ID:nLDE72S0NG] (Reporting by Joanne Frearson; Editing by Dan Lalor)

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