NEW YORK Dec 10 U.S. stock index futures were
lower on Monday as investors awaited any sign of progress in
talks to avert the United States' so-called "fiscal cliff" of
tax hikes and spending cuts.
* U.S. President Barack Obama met with Republican Speaker of
the House of Representatives John Boehner on Sunday to negotiate
ways to avoid the fiscal cliff that is set to go into effect in
the new year.
* The two sides declined to provide further details about
the unannounced meeting.
* Developments in the talks have kept markets on edge in the
last month as investors worry the scheduled measures could send
the economy into recession if politicians do not reach a deal.
* Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti announced over the
weekend that he would resign once the 2013 budget is approved,
driving up the country's borrowing costs.
* Also overseas, China's export growth slowed sharply in
November, highlighting the global headwinds dragging on the
world's second-largest economy. Other data over the weekend
showed both industrial output and retail sales rose in November
at their fastest annual pace in eight months, suggesting China's
economy is picking up.
* S&P 500 futures fell 2.5 points and were below 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 fell 11
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 7 points.
* Ingersoll-Rand Plc is expected to announce as soon
as Monday it will spin off its security division, two people
familiar with the matter said.
* American International Group Inc is to sell nearly
all of ILFC, the world's second-largest airplane
leasing business, to a Chinese consortium for up to $4.8