NEW YORK Dec 17 U.S. stock index futures were
mixed on Monday as "fiscal cliff" negotiations saw their first
real movement over the weekend, but Apple was likely to weigh on
* Republican House Speaker John Boehner edged slightly
closer to President Barack Obama's key demands as they try to
avert the tax hikes and spending cuts that are set to take
effect in the new year.
* Sources familiar with the talks confirmed that Boehner
proposed extending low tax rates for everyone who has earned
less than $1 million, and rates would rise for wages above that.
But Boehner's new positions were still far from those held by
* Uncertainty over when and if a deal will be done has kept
investors cautious in what is normally a quiet trading period
heading into year-end.
* Apple Inc was down 1.6 percent at $501.50 as
Citigroup cut its rating to 'neutral' from 'buy' and slashed its
price target to $575 from $675. The stock had earlier been
indicated to open below $500, which would be the first time
* Apple shares have tumbled nearly 30 percent in about three
months, losing 3.8 percent on Friday alone, helping lead the
overall market lower.
* S&P 500 futures rose 3.3 points and were above fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 20
points but Nasdaq 100 futures fell 4.5 points.
* Sprint Nextel Corp said it would buy Clearwire
for $2.97 a share.
* American International Group Inc may raise as much
as $6.5 billion from the sale of its remaining stake in AIA
Group Ltd, exiting a business the U.S. insurer started nearly
100 years ago.
* Networking equipment company Cisco Systems Inc
has hired Barclays to sell its Linksys home router
unit, a report said on Sunday.