U.S. stock index futures point to small rebound

LONDON Tue Feb 26, 2013 4:37am EST

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LONDON Feb 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly higher open on Wall Street on Tuesday, with futures for the S&P 500, the Dow Jones and the Nasdaq 100 up 0.3-0.4 percent at 0916 GMT.

* U.S. stocks had suffered their biggest drop since November on Monday after later results pointed to a strong showing in Italian elections by groups opposed to the country's economic reforms. That triggered worry that Europe's debt problems could once again destabilise the global economy.

* European markets were playing catchup with that move in early trade on Tuesday, falling sharply as a result.

* Standard & Poor's releases its S&P Case/Shiller Home Price Index for December at 1400 GMT, expected to show a rise of 0.5 percent versus a 0.6 percent rise in the previous month.

* One hour later, the Conference Board's February consumer confidence was forecast to come in at 61.0 compared with 58.6 in January.

* Also at 1500 GMT, new home sales data for January were seen at 381,000 annualised units, compared with 369,000 in December.

* Ben Bernanke delivers the first of two days of congressional testimony on the Federal Reserve's semi-annual monetary policy report. Investors will examine Bernanke's words before the Senate Banking Committee closely for any sign he is growing nervous that the potential costs of the U.S. central bank's bond buying might soon outweigh its benefits.

* Goldman Sachs Group Inc will begin its annual job cutting process as early as this week, sources familiar with the matter said on Monday, with its equities-trading business bracing for bigger cuts than fixed-income trading.

* JPMorgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon leads his new team of managers in an annual day of presentations to Wall Street about the outlook for businesses operated by the biggest U.S. bank. The firm named a new head of auto finance on Monday.

* Intel Corp has agreed to make chips on behalf of Altera ALTR.O, a significant step toward opening its prized manufacturing technology to customers on a larger scale, potentially including Apple.

* Fuelled by a 48 percent rise in fourth-quarter earnings, the top executive of securities firm Stifel Financial Corp's defended his aggressive acquisition spree on Monday.

* Retailer Home Depot is expected to post a $0.14 rise in quarterly earnings per share, seen at of $0.64, one day after rival Lowe's reported better-than-expected profit and boosted its outlook for revenue this year.

* The Dow Jones industrial average dropped 216.40 points, or 1.55 percent, to 13,784.17 on Monday. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index lost 27.75 points, or 1.83 percent, to 1,487.85. The Nasdaq Composite Index fell 45.57 points, or 1.44 percent, to 3,116.25.

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