PARIS, Dec 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed
to a steady Wall Street open, with S&P 500 futures down
0.11 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.03 percent and
Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.05 percent at 0954 GMT.
* European shares were flat to slightly lower in early trade
on Friday as investors waited to see if a deal to avoid the U.S.
"fiscal cliff" would be reached before further boosting their
exposure to equities.
* President Barack Obama and lawmakers are launching a
last-chance round of budget talks days before a New Year's
deadline to reach a deal or watch the economy go off a "fiscal
cliff." Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will meet
congressional leaders from both parties at the White House on
Friday at 3 p.m. EST (2000 GMT).
* On the macro front, investors awaited pending home sales
data for November. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a 1.0
percent rise compared with a 5.2 percent gain in the previous
* Investors in U.S.-based funds favored stock
exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and emerging market equity mutual
funds as the year wound down, data from Thomson Reuters' Lipper
service showed on Thursday.
* Satellite television provider DirecTV Group said
its service fees would rise by an average of 4.5 percent in
February due to increasing programming costs.
* A Chinese court fined Apple 1 million yuan
($160,400) for hosting third-party applications on its App Store
that were selling pirated electronic books, the official Xinhua
news agency reported on Friday.
* U.S. stocks fell for a fourth day on Thursday, but
recovered most of their losses after the House of
Representatives, in the barest sign of progress, said it would
come back to work on avoiding the "fiscal cliff" this weekend.
* The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 18.28
points, or 0.14 percent, to 13,096.31 at the close. The Standard
& Poor's 500 Index declined 1.73 points, or 0.12 percent,
to end at 1,418.10. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped
4.25 points, or 0.14 percent, to close at 2,985.91.