* Cyprus works on tax levy deal to get bailout approved
* NAHB housing market index on tap
* Futures off: S&P 14.4 pts; Dow 92 pts; Nasdaq 31.5 pts
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, March 18 U.S. stock index futures fell
sharply on Monday as investors were rattled by a radical bailout
plan for Cyprus reached over the weekend that knocked confidence
in European banks.
* The announcement that Cyprus would impose a tax on bank
accounts as part of a 10 billion euro ($13 billion) bailout
shook markets globally, as it broke with previous European
practice that depositors' savings were sacrosanct.
* Cyprus's government was working on a proposal to soften
the blow of a bank deposit levy on smaller savers ahead of a
parliament vote on Monday on the measure that is central to a
euro zone bailout designed to avert bankruptcy.
* In the United States, National Association of Home
Builders/Wells Fargo issues the housing market index for March
at 10:00 a.m. ET (1400 GMT). Economists in a Reuters survey
expect a reading of 47, versus 46 in February.
* Europe's Airbus has landed a record order
potentially worth $20 billion at list prices from Indonesia's
Lion Air, sources familiar with the matter said on Sunday,
smashing rival Boeing's grip on one of the world's
fastest-growing airlines. To get its 787 Dreamliner flying
again, Boeing Co is testing the plane's volatile battery system
to a rigorous standard that the company itself helped develop -
but that it never used on the jet.
* Highbridge Capital Management, a hedge fund manager owned
by JPMorgan Chase & Co, has raised a $5 billion
mezzanine debt fund, a spokesman said on Sunday, the latest
alternative asset firm seeking to seize on corporate credit
* S&P 500 futures fell 14.4 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 92
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures lost 31.5 points.
* U.S. futures regulators are looking into whether
high-speed traders indulged in "wash trading," a strategy in
which they improperly buy and sell futures contracts without
taking a position in the market, the Wall Street Journal
reported, citing people familiar with the probes.
* Directories publishers Dex One Corp and
SuperMedia Inc have filed for bankruptcy after failing
to win the full support of senior secured lenders for a change
to a credit agreement that was needed to complete their planned
* U.S. stocks slipped on Friday, ending the Dow Jones
industrial average's longest winning streak since 1996 as
investors paused just below the S&P 500's record high.