U.S. stock index futures signal slightly lower open

Last Updated: Fri, Mar 22, 2013 13:03 hrs

LONDON, March 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall Street on Friday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.1 percent at 0816 GMT.

* June contracts on the Nasdaq 100 also fell 0.1 percent, while Dow Jones futures were flat.

* European shares dipped, putting a key index on track for its worst weekly drop since November, as worries over Cyprus' bailout problems dented sentiment.

* Blackstone Group LP and General Electric Co's lending arm have discussed jointly pursuing Dell Inc's financial-services business, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

* The New York Times also said Blackstone was weighing whether to make an offer for all or part of Dell, adding some people close to the private equity firm are sceptical that any offer will materialise.

* Salesforce.com Inc said on Thursday its board of directors had approved a 4-for-1 stock split as its shares continued an almost unbroken four-year ascent. Salesforce's stock was up 0.5 percent at $173.74 after hours, having risen as much as 2 percent.

* Tiffany & Co is expected to report quarterly earnings per share of $1.36, down from $1.39 a year earlier. The jeweller has missed Wall Street projections for the past three quarters and reported weak holiday sales in early January, but its shares have nonetheless risen since then.

* Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is set to announce on Friday he will step down after four years that included a successful challenge to AT&T Inc's proposed merger with T-Mobile USA, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.

The Dow Jones industrial average slid 90.24 points, or 0.62 percent, to end at 14,421.49. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dropped 12.91 points, or 0.83 percent, to finish at 1,545.80. The Nasdaq Composite Index lost 31.59 points, or 0.97 percent, to close at 3,222.60. (Reporting By Francesco Canepa/editing by Chris Pizzey, London MPG Desk, +44 (0)207 542-4441)

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