* UPS to buy TNT Express
* Apple to reveal plans for cash reserve
* Futures: Dow off 16 pts, S&P off 1.5 pts, Nasdaq up 9.25
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, March 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures
slipped o n Monday, indicating equities may pull back from nearly
4-year highs as investors waited to hear what Apple will do with
its massive $98 billion cash stockpile.
But futures pointed to a higher open for the Nasdaq as Apple
Inc, the world's most valuable company, was due to hold
a conference call on the outcome of talks about its cash
balance, with expectations it will declare a dividend for the
first time since 1995. Shares in the iPad maker climbed 2.9
percent to $602.28 in premarket trade.
The S&P 500 capped its fifth straight weekly gain, with its
best week in three months on Friday. The index has risen in
seven of the past eight sessions for a 4.5 percent climb.
"With the market having posted five consecutive winning
weeks, investors will be looking for additional fuel as we march
towards 1,440, the next key level," for the S&P, said Andre
Bakhos, director of market analytics at Lek Securities in New
"The Apple call this morning could end the early morning
hesitation and put us back on track."
S&P 500 futures fell 1.5 points and were below fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures lost 16
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures were up 9.25 points.
United Parcel Service Inc will pay 5.2 billion euros
($6.85 billion) for Dutch peer TNT Express in a deal
making UPS the market leader in Europe.
Economic data expected on Monday includes the Midwest
Manufacturing Index for January from the Federal Reserve Bank of
Chicago at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) and the National Association
of Home Builders/Wells Fargo March housing market index at 10
a.m. EDT (1400 GMT).
After the closing bell, Adobe Systems Inc is set to
post quarterly results. The mean estimate of analysts surveyed
by Thomson Reuters is for a profit of 57 cents a share for the
Dun & Bradstreet Corp, which provides commercial
information on businesses, said local employees in China may
have violated U.S. anti-bribery laws. It suspended operations at
a local unit while it conducts an inquiry.
European stocks lost ground early Monday, slipping from
8-month highs last week as investors waited for more evidence of
improvement in U.S. and European economies before chasing the
market's brisk 2-month rally. The Nikkei ended slightly higher.