LONDON, Feb 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed
to a mixed open on Wall Street on Monday, with futures for the
S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 up 0.1 and 0.2 percent
respectively by 0856 GMT, while those for Dow Jones were
* The U.S. stock market closed higher on Friday, with the
S&P 500 adding 13.18 points, or 0.88 percent, to 1,515.60
, after comments from Fed officials allayed fears that the
central bank would curtail stimulus measures.
* Prospects of continued stimulus also lifted Asian and
European equity markets on Monday, with the EuroSTOXX 50
benchmark of euro zone blue chips up 0.7 percent.
However, uncertainty over the outcome of Italian elections,
which close on Monday, kept a lid on the gains.
* With days left before $85 billion is slashed from U.S.
government budgets, the White House on Sunday issued more dire
warnings about the harm the cuts will do to Americans. But
Republicans, who advocate budget cuts, said the warning was
overplayed and called on President Barack Obama to apply what is
known as the "sequester" in a more careful way, rather than
slashing budgets across the board.
* A relatively light calendar features the Chicago Fed's
national activity index for February at 1330 GMT,
alongside earnings from Autodesk Inc and Lowe's
* Barnes & Noble Inc Chairman Leonard Riggio is
considering a bid for the company's bookstore business, the Wall
Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with
* Disney's movie "Brave" won the Oscar on Sunday for
Best Animated Feature.
* BlackRock Inc., the world's largest money manager,
has got approval from the U.S. securities regulator to list a
copper-backed exchange-traded fund, potentially getting the jump
on JPMorgan, whose listing of a similar product has been delayed
by industry objections.
* Knight Capital Group, which recently agreed to be
bought for $1.4 billion by Getco Holding Co, has struck a deal
to sell its credit-brokerage unit to Stifel Financial Corp
, according to a person familiar with the matter.
* Hewlett-Packard Chairman Ray Lane and fellow board
members plan to meet with about 20 of the computer maker's big
investors Monday in hopes of heading off a campaign to unseat
Lane and two other directors, the Wall Street Journal reports.
* Office Depot Inc said late on Friday that
following talks with the largest holder of its common stock,
Starboard Value LP, it is extending the deadline for nominating
candidates for its board at its annual meeting.
* Dick's Sporting Goods Inc shares could rise 23
percent within the next year if the largest publicly traded U.S.
sporting goods retailer continues to boost profit at a mid-teens
percentage rate, Barron's said.