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U.S. stock index futures signal flat-to-lower open

Source : REUTERS
Last Updated: Wed, Nov 21, 2012 10:00 hrs

PARIS, Nov 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat-to-lower open on Wall Street on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.01 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.07 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.17 percent at 0923 GMT.

* European shares were slightly up in morning trade, although gains were limited by renewed fears about the euro zone debt crisis after Greece's international lenders failed to reached a deal to reduce the country's debt and release the next payment from its bailout.

* The IMF has so far refused to give Athens an extra two years to meet its debt target, while European governments led by Germany refuse to write off loans, two options which might make the targets easier to reach.

* On the macro front, investors awaited flash Markit Manufacturing PMI for November, due at 1358 GMT, the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers' final November consumer sentiment index, due at 1455 GMT, and the Conference Board's report on leading economic indicators for October, due at 1500 GMT.

* The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is unlikely to make any decision before Thursday's Thanksgiving Holiday on Wal-Mart Stores Inc's push to stop protests and rallies outside its stores, the board said on Tuesday.

The delay deals a blow to Wal-Mart's attempt to stop workers and their supporters from staging major protests at Walmart discount stores on "Black Friday", the day after Thanksgiving that is traditionally the busiest shopping day of the year.

* Business software provider Salesforce.com Inc beat Wall Street expectations for the third quarter and maintained its earnings outlook for the rest of its fiscal year despite the uncertain economic outlook.

* Children's book publisher Scholastic Corp reduced its forecast for the fiscal year ending May 31, 2013 on lower sales in its high-margin educational business.

* Facebook Inc board member Marc Andreessen sold roughly $54 million worth of shares in the social networking company on Monday to cover taxes he owes on his holdings.

* Zale Corp, which offers affordable jewelry to middle-class shoppers, on Tuesday posted a deeper quarterly loss than Wall Street expected on sales that did not meet expectations, and shares fell more than 11 percent in after-hours trading.

* Flight attendants at US Airways Group Inc, looking to bring more pressure on the carrier to reach a contract agreement, voted by a 94 percent margin to authorize a strike, their union said on Tuesday.

* Yoga wear retailer Lululemon Athletica Inc said on Tuesday it settled a lawsuit over its distinctive yoga pants against PVH Corp's Calvin Klein and G-III Apparel Group Ltd.

* E-commerce is expected to grow strongly in upcoming holiday purchases, spurred by early online deals, the rise of mobile devices and more offers of free shipping.

* Wall Street halted its two-day rally on Tuesday, after Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said the central bank lacks tools to cushion the U.S. economy from the impact of the "fiscal cliff."

* The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 7.45 points, or 0.06 percent, to 12,788.51 at the close. But the Standard & Poor's 500 Index edged up 0.93 of a point, or 0.07 percent, to finish at 1,387.82. The Nasdaq Composite Index inched up 0.61 of a point, or 0.02 percent, to close at 2,916.68.




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