US STOCKS-Futures edge up ahead of data

Tue Mar 26, 2013 8:07am EDT

* Icahn opens door to Blackstone tie-up on Dell bid

* Futures up: Dow 28 pts, S&P 2.6 pts, Nasdaq 6 pts

By Rodrigo Campos

NEW YORK, March 26 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday, ahead of a flurry of data that could lure investors and propel the S&P 500 to a record closing high.

The benchmark S&P 500 index traded just a quarter point below its all-time closing high on Monday, then retreated as investors cashed in gains in the wake of news out of Europe.

Banks in Cyprus will remain closed until Thursday, and will then be subject to capital controls to prevent a run on deposits. President Nicos Anastasiades said late on Monday that a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) rescue plan agreed at the weekend was "painful" but essential to avoid economic meltdown.

"We have some important data and if we get good news, there we can continue our climb forward," said Art Hogan, managing director at Lazard Capital Markets in New York. "Cyprus may well be behind us."

He said Europe was in a better place because of the bailout but not yet out of the woods and the union needed structural changes to avoid more rescues, but there was "no other Cyprus around the corner," at least for now.

The euro edged higher against the U.S. dollar but remained near four-month lows on lingering concerns about the negative implications of the Cypriot rescue plan, and if it would serve as a template for other euro zone economies requiring bailouts.

S&P 500 futures rose 2.6 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 28 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 6 points.

The Commerce Department releases February durable goods orders at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT). Economists expect a 3.8 percent rise in February orders, compared with a 4.9 percent drop in January.

At 9:00 a.m. (1300 GMT), Standard & Poor's releases its S&P Case/Shiller Home Price Index for January. An hour later, the Conference Board releases March consumer confidence data and the Commerce Department releases February data on new home sales.

Michael Dell's $24.4 billion buyout bid for Dell Inc could be derailed after billionaire Carl Icahn opened the door to an alliance with Blackstone Group LP to take control of the computer maker from its founder.

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