U.S. stock index futures signal flat to lower open

PARIS, March 28 Thu Mar 28, 2013 5:09am EDT

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PARIS, March 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat to lower open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 down 0.22 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.01 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.03 percent at 0900 GMT.

* European stocks were mixed on Thursday morning, with Spanish, Portuguese and Italian shares losing ground, hurt by fears of a potential run on Cyprus's banks, set to reopen on Thursday.

* Tight controls will be imposed on transactions by Cyprus's banks to limit cash withdrawals to no more than 300 euros ($380) per day, ban the cashing of cheques and bar businesses from transferring money abroad unless they can show it is for imports.

* On the macro front, investors awaited U.S. weekly jobless claims, due at 1230 GMT, as well as the final estimate of the U.S. fourth-quarter Gross Domestic Product (GDP), at 1230 GMT. Economists forecast a 0.5 percent annualized pace of growth, compared with a 0.1 percent rate in the preliminary estimate.

* Influential proxy advisory firm ISS threw its weight behind opponents of MetroPCS Communications Inc's proposed merger with T-Mobile USA, saying the deal undervalued the company and shareholders should vote against it.

* PVH Corp forecast 2013 profit well short of Wall Street estimates as the clothing maker now expects its acquisition of Warnaco to drag on earnings this year due to the additional time needed to complete the integration. PVH shares fell 5 percent in trading after the bell.

* Clearwire Corp plans to notify Sprint Nextel Corp S.N on Thursday that it will tap another $80 million of financing in April as part of its deal with the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier, two people close to the matter said.

* Cable firm Liberty Global said on Thursday it had bought a 12.65 percent stake in Dutch cable firm Ziggo for 632.5 million euros ($808 million) as a strategic investment in a market where it already operates.

* Chevron Corp said on Wednesday its executive pay would reflect certain incidents in 2012 as well as a financial performance that outpaced the U.S. oil company's peer group.

* Swiss Re has settled a dispute with Berkshire Hathaway over a 2010 life reinsurance deal and will receive a $610 million payment from U.S. tycoon Warren Buffett's company, the Swiss reinsurer said on Thursday.

* A judge on Wednesday approved AMR Corp's plan to merge with US Airways Group, a step toward creating the world's largest airline.

* Citigroup Inc on Wednesday won the dismissal of a lawsuit by Woori Bank over losses from mortgage-related investments, the third such defeat in a U.S. court for a South Korean bank that had been put under state control following financial crises.

* A federal judge on Wednesday said JPMorgan Chase & Co must face a lawsuit by a pension plan that accused it of mismanaging its money by investing in Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc notes before that bank filed for bankruptcy in 2008.

* Fifteen major banks sued by the Federal Housing Finance Agency over risky housing debt urged a U.S. appeals court on Wednesday to intervene, citing "gravely prejudicial" rulings by the trial judge coordinating the litigation.

* Chesapeake Energy Corp's search for a new chief executive to replace Aubrey McClendon is likely to extend beyond an April 1 deadline, according to a person familiar with the situation.

* Gold-backed exchange-traded funds are set for their biggest quarterly outflow since inception, with investors beating a hasty retreat from the market due to a brightened global economic backdrop.

* Employment improved and housing prices rose in most major U.S. metropolitan areas in the final quarter of 2012, but output sputtered, according to a report released on Thursday by the Brookings Institution.

* On the earnings front, investors awaited quarterly results from Accenture, Gamestop Corp., and the Mosaic Company.

* U.S. stocks rebounded from early declines to close little changed on Wednesday, but investors were still worried about the chance of a run on Cypriot banks and its possible implications for other euro-zone lenders.

* The Dow Jones industrial average fell 33.49 points or 0.23 percent, to 14,526.16 at the close. The S&P 500 lost just 0.92 of a point, or 0.06 percent, to finish at 1,562.85. The Nasdaq Composite added 4.04 points or 0.12 percent, to close at 3,256.52.

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