U.S. stock index futures point to mixed start

Last Updated: Mon, Aug 27, 2012 07:50 hrs

* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a mixed open on Wall Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.05 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.05 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.3 percent at 0732 GMT.

* European stocks dipped on Monday as investors await confirmation from central banks of fresh stimulus measures to boost growth before committing further money into equities following the sharp rally of the past few weeks.

* Trading volume in Europe was thin as the UK market, the region's largest, was shut for a bank holiday.

* Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan also fell in choppy trade.

* Angela Merkel tried to calm a growing storm over euro zone crisis strategy on Sunday after the Bundesbank likened ECB bond-buying plans to a dangerous drug and a conservative ally of the German leader said Greece should leave the currency bloc by next year.

* Germany's Ifo business climate index, due at 0800 GMT, was expected to provide further evidence Europe's largest economy was losing its resilience to the region's crisis. It was forecast to have slipped for the fourth month in a row, falling to an almost 3-1/2 year low of 102.6 from 103.3 in July.

* The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans speaks on the outlook for the U.S. economy and monetary policy before a seminar hosted by Market News International at 1000 GMT.

* Germany's European Central Bank Executive Board member Joerg Asmussen gives a speech on the way to a more stable economic and monetary union at 1600 GMT.

* Upscale jeweller Tiffany & Co reports second-quarter results before the market open, with Wall Street forecasting earnings per shares to fall to $0.74 from $0.86 the year before because of higher raw materials costs. The company is expected to update its full-year forecast, which will reflect how Tiffany expects sales to trend as it heads toward the holiday period.

* Hertz Global Holdings, the No. 2. U.S. car rental company, said it will buy smaller rival Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group DTG.N for about $2.3 billion, ending more than two years of an on-off takeover battle.

* Media mogul Barry Diller's IAC said on Sunday that its Ask.com unit has acquired information website About.com from the New York Times Company NYT.N for $300 million in cash.

* Eli Lilly's heart drug Effient failed to beat the older product Plavix in a head-to-head clinical study, dealing a blow to hopes for its expanded use in treating less critically sick heart patients who are managed solely with medicines.

* Merck & Co said on Sunday it plans to file regulatory applications for a new type of blood clot preventer next year, and will also file with regulators for approval of another cardiovascular drug in 2013.

* Ford Motor and Mazda Motor Corp and their local Chinese partner Chongqing Changan Automotive Co have received approval from China's central government to split their three-way, manufacturing and sales joint venture into two, Ford's chief executive said on Monday.

* Investors are buying up Sirius XM Radio Inc stock ahead of a potential share buyback, but some analysts and investors say it would be wiser to hold off on purchasing shares until it is clear how Liberty Media plans to operate the satellite radio company.

* The Dow Jones industrial average rose 100.51 points, or 0.77 percent, to end at 13,157.97 on Friday. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index added 9.05 points, or 0.65 percent, to 1,411.13. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 16.39 points, or 0.54 percent, to close at 3,069.79.

* A six-week string of gains in the S&P 500 ended on Friday amid shifting expectations for central bank stimulus. This week could bring clarity on that issue, and that could determine whether the recent rally that took the index to four-year highs will persist.

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