PARIS Dec 14 U.S. stock index futures pointed
to a higher open on Wall Street on Friday, with futures for the
S&P 500 up 0.23 percent, Dow Jones futures 0.24
percent higher and Nasdaq 100 futures up 0.12 percent at
* European stocks were steady on Friday morning, with the
FTSEurofirst 300 index sitting a few points below an
18-month high hit earlier this week, as lower-than-expected
German manufacturing sector figures eclipsed strong Chinese
* Markit's index tracking German manufacturing activity
slipped to 46.3 in December from 46.8 the previous month,
remaining well below the 50 threshold that divides growth from
contraction and missing the consensus forecast in a Reuters poll
* China's HSBC flash purchasing managers' index for December
rose to 50.9, a 14-month high and the fifth straight monthly
gain, underlining a brighter outlook for the world's
* Apple Inc releases the iPhone 5 in China on
Friday, which should give it some respite after a recent slide
in its share of what is already the world's biggest smartphone
market. But the company's longer-term hopes may depend on new
technology being tested by China's top telecoms carrier.
* Sprint Nextel Corp's $2.1 billion offer to buy out
Clearwire Corp appeared to be running into trouble on
Thursday, as some shareholders said they wanted more money while
Softbank Corp set a cap on how much Sprint could pay.
* Pfizer Inc's planned U.S. initial public offering
(IPO) of its animal health unit Zoetis Inc is likely by January
or February and raise about $4 billion, the Wall Street Journal
reported, citing people familiar with the discussions.
* KKR & Co LP has jumped into the auction for the
fibre-optics business being sold by Australian contractor
Leighton Holdings Ltd, a source familiar with the
process told Reuters, eyeing a business that analysts say could
fetch as much as A$870 million ($918 million).
* Adobe Systems Inc, maker of Photoshop and Acrobat
software, forecast full-year results below analysts' estimates
but expects profit and earnings to grow from 2013 onwards. The
company forecast adjusted earnings of about $1.40 a share on
revenue of about $4.1 billion for 2013.
* Dutch chemicals group AkzoNobel is selling its
struggling North American decorative paints arm to U.S. rival
PPG Industries for $1.1 billion to focus on its larger
European and faster-growing businesses.
* Bank of America Corp raised the stakes in its
legal battle with bond insurer MBIA Inc on Thursday,
saying MBIA was in default on some of its debt and filing a
lawsuit related to changes in that debt.
* On the macro front, investors awaited a batch of U.S.
indicators, including November industrial production, due at
1415 GMT, and Markit's flash manufacturing PMI for December, due
at 1358 GMT.
* The S&P 500 ended a six-day winning streak on Thursday,
retreating as worries intensified that Washington's "fiscal
cliff" negotiations were dragging on with little progress.
* The Dow Jones industrial average tumbled 74.73
points, or 0.56 percent, to 13,170.72 at the close. The Standard
& Poor's 500 Index fell 9.03 points, or 0.63 percent, to
1,419.45. The Nasdaq Composite Index slid 21.65 points,
or 0.72 percent, to end at 2,992.16.