* S&P 500 within points of record levels, may find
* Emerging markets in focus after Ukraine president ousted
* Netflix shares fall, to pay Comcast for faster speeds
* Futures up: Dow 11 pts, S&P 2.6 pts, Nasdaq 5 pts
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Feb 24 U.S. stock index futures edged
higher on Monday, with the S&P 500 within points of its record
high, though investors may have few reasons to push shares
decisively above that level.
* Geopolitical uncertainty will continue to be in focus
after Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted following
deadly street protests, leaving a potential power vacuum and an
ailing economy. Ukraine's finance ministry said the economy
required $35 billion in foreign aid over the next two years,
with the first tranche needed within two weeks.
* While most U.S. companies have limited direct exposure to
Ukraine, investors are concerned that the instability in the
region could spread throughout emerging markets. European shares
dipped slightly on Monday.
* Investors are looking ahead to the Chicago Fed's National
Activity index for January, due out at 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT), as
well as financial data firm Markit's preliminary February read
on the services sector.
* Trading may be light, with few domestic catalysts to drive
markets until Thursday, when Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen
will speak to the Senate Banking Committee in her semi-annual
testimony about monetary policy.
* Yellen's comments will be scoured for any insight into the
extent to which bad weather has impacted economic activity, as
well as for confirmation that the Fed will not make any changes
to its schedule for trimming stimulus.
* S&P 500 futures rose 2.6 points and were above 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 added 11
points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 5 points.
* Wall Street stocks have recovered from the weakness they
went through in late January, with the S&P 500 up 3 percent over
the past three weeks. Investors have largely shrugged off a
streak of weak economic data, blaming that on poor weather
conditions rather than weakening fundamentals.
* However, the S&P has found resistance at 1,850.84, its
record intraday level, which was hit on Jan. 15. The index is
currently 0.8 percent away from that level.
* In company news, Netflix Inc has agreed to pay
Comcast Corp for faster speeds, though terms of the
agreement were not disclosed. Shares of Netflix fell 1.7 percent
to $425.01 in light premarket trading.
* General Electric Co plans to intensify research
focusing on complex energy projects such as waterless fracking
and gas turbine efficiency by earmarking an additional $10
billion through 2020 for its "ecoimagination" budget.
* Tenet Healthcare, Frontier Communications Corp
and EOG Resources Inc are all scheduled to
report results after the market closes.
* U.S. stocks rose for much of the session on Friday, but
turned lower late in the session on options-related trading.