* Agreement to wind down state-owned bank, target large
* Dell looking into various takeover proposals, shares rise
* S&P 500 about 0.5 pct away from closing high record
* Futures up: Dow 38 pts, S&P 6.5 pts, Nasdaq 15.5 pts
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, March 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose
on Monday after negotiators reached a deal hours before a
deadline to avert a financial meltdown in Cyprus and the
country's possible exit from the euro zone.
The deal between Cyprus and heads of the European Union, the
European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund will
spare the Mediterranean island a likely banking collapse by
winding down the largely state-owned Popular Bank of Cyprus and
shifting deposits below 100,000 euros to the Bank of Cyprus to
create a "good bank."
"The problems in Cyprus had held the market back a little
bit, so I guess there will be some relief. This takes away one
of the hurdles for moving higher," said Rick Meckler, president
of investment firm LibertyView Capital Management in Jersey
City, New Jersey.
The rise in futures sets the S&P 500 index up to make a new
run at its record high. The benchmark index ended last week down
0.2 percent, only its second negative week of the year. At
1,556.89, it is slightly more than 0.5 percent away from
breaking its record close of 1,565.15 set in October 2007.
Meckler said a record high on the S&P amid a low interest
rate environment will likely lure more investors into equities,
serving as a catalyst to move even higher.
A lack of major market-moving economic news in the United
States will keep investors focused on developments in Cyprus.
S&P 500 futures rose 6.5 points and were above 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 rose 38
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 15.5 points.
A special committee of Dell Inc's board is
evaluating separate takeover proposals from Blackstone Group
and billionaire investor Carl Icahn to decide whether
either or both are likely to trump an existing $24.4 billion
take-private deal, a source familiar with the discussions said
on Sunday. Dell shares rose 2.8 percent in premarket trading.
Merger and acquisition activity has been another of the
reasons for the stellar performance of stocks so far this year.
Bank of America Corp Chief Executive Brian Moynihan
will need to hold shares likely worth millions of dollars for at
least a year after he retires under a new compensation policy
that the bank instituted following investor pressure. The bank's
shares edged up 1.4 percent in light premarket