* S&P 500 within points of record, may meet resistance
* Emerging markets in focus after Ukraine president ousted
* Men's Wearhouse raises offer for Jos. A. Bank
* Netflix shares fall, to pay Comcast for faster speeds
* Futures up: Dow 42 pts, S&P 5.2 pts, Nasdaq 13.25 pts
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Feb 24 U.S. stock index futures
pointed to a higher open on Monday, putting 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 worry that the instability in the region
could spread throughout emerging markets.
* In the latest U.S. data, the National Activity index fell
to -0.39 in January from 0.16 in December while financial data
firm Markit's preliminary February read on the services sector
fell from 56.7 to 52.7.
* Pfizer Inc shares rose after the company said that
its drug Prevenar 13 prevented community-acquired pneumonia in
individuals age 65 and older in a study.
* Verizon Communications Inc shares dipped 0.7
percent to $46.92 in premarket trading after the company gave a
2014 revenue outlook.
* S&P 500 futures rose 5.2 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 42
points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 13.25 points.
* Wall Street stocks have recovered from weakness in late
January, with the S&P 500 having gained 3 percent over the past
three weeks. Investors have largely shrugged off a recent slew
of weak economic data, blaming it on a harsh winter rather than
* Still, 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, Men's Wearhouse Inc raised its
cash tender offer for rival men's clothing retailer Jos. A. Bank
Clothiers Inc JOSB.O to $63.50 per share from $57.50. Shares of
Men's Wearhouse rose 5.3 percent in premarket trading while Jos.
A. Bank was up 8.9 percent.
* 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.
* U.S. shares of BlackBerry Ltd rose in premarket
trading after the company said it would make its messaging
service BBM available to Microsoft's Windows Phone and
the upcoming Nokia X platforms in the coming months.
* Tenet Healthcare, Frontier Communications Corp
and EOG Resources Inc are scheduled to report
results after the market closes.
* 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 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.
* U.S. stocks rose for much of the session on Friday, but
turned lower late in the session on options-related trading.