US STOCKS-Futures lower on fiscal cliff apprehension

NEW YORK Mon Dec 10, 2012 7:31am EST

NEW YORK Dec 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were lower on Monday as investors awaited any sign of progress in talks to avert the United States' so-called "fiscal cliff" of tax hikes and spending cuts.

* U.S. President Barack Obama met with Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner on Sunday to negotiate ways to avoid the fiscal cliff that is set to go into effect in the new year.

* The two sides declined to provide further details about the unannounced meeting.

* Developments in the talks have kept markets on edge in the last month as investors worry the scheduled measures could send the economy into recession if politicians do not reach a deal.

* Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti announced over the weekend that he would resign once the 2013 budget is approved, driving up the country's borrowing costs.

* Also overseas, China's export growth slowed sharply in November, highlighting the global headwinds dragging on the world's second-largest economy. Other data over the weekend showed both industrial output and retail sales rose in November at their fastest annual pace in eight months, suggesting China's economy is picking up.

* S&P 500 futures fell 2.5 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 fell 11 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 7 points.

* Ingersoll-Rand Plc is expected to announce as soon as Monday it will spin off its security division, two people familiar with the matter said.

* American International Group Inc is to sell nearly all of ILFC, the world's second-largest airplane leasing business, to a Chinese consortium for up to $4.8 billion.

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