US STOCKS-Futures mixed as 'cliff' and Apple eyed

NEW YORK Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:31am EST

NEW YORK Dec 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were mixed on Monday as "fiscal cliff" negotiations saw their first real movement over the weekend, but Apple was likely to weigh on the market.

* Republican House Speaker John Boehner edged slightly closer to President Barack Obama's key demands as they try to avert the tax hikes and spending cuts that are set to take effect in the new year.

* Sources familiar with the talks confirmed that Boehner proposed extending low tax rates for everyone who has earned less than $1 million, and rates would rise for wages above that. But Boehner's new positions were still far from those held by Obama.

* Uncertainty over when and if a deal will be done has kept investors cautious in what is normally a quiet trading period heading into year-end.

* Apple Inc was down 1.6 percent at $501.50 as Citigroup cut its rating to 'neutral' from 'buy' and slashed its price target to $575 from $675. The stock had earlier been indicated to open below $500, which would be the first time since February.

* Apple shares have tumbled nearly 30 percent in about three months, losing 3.8 percent on Friday alone, helping lead the overall market lower.

* S&P 500 futures rose 3.3 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 20 points but Nasdaq 100 futures fell 4.5 points.

* Sprint Nextel Corp said it would buy Clearwire for $2.97 a share.

* American International Group Inc may raise as much as $6.5 billion from the sale of its remaining stake in AIA Group Ltd, exiting a business the U.S. insurer started nearly 100 years ago.

* Networking equipment company Cisco Systems Inc has hired Barclays to sell its Linksys home router unit, a report said on Sunday.

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