* Expectations rise for Chinese gov't stimulus
* Walt Disney to buy Maker Studios for $500 mln
* Data on housing, consumer confidence on tap
* Futures up: Dow 22 pts, S&P 3.1 pts, Nasdaq 6 pts
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, March 25 U.S. stock index futures
edged higher on Tuesday, implying a modest rebound off the
previous session's decline, though investors continued to watch
global issues with caution.
* Major indexes fell on Monday on concerns that the crisis
in Ukraine could escalate. However, the selling was concentrated
in the Nasdaq, which fell under its 50-day moving average, as
traders took profits in some of the market's recent standouts.
* The Dow ended with only slight losses, a sign that while
investors were taking money off the table, they were still
finding value in more established names like Procter & Gamble
. The CBOE Volatility Index, a gauge of investor
anxiety, closed barely higher on Monday and remains at
historically low levels.
* The conflict over Ukraine continued with leaders of the
Group of Seven nations warning Russia that it faced further
sanctions if Russian President Vladimir Putin took further
action to destabilize Ukraine following the seizure of Crimea.
* While few U.S. companies have direct exposure to the
region, market participants are concerned about the fallout from
any escalation in what is already the biggest confrontation
between the United States and Russia since the Cold War.
* Investors also continued to look to China, with
expectations growing that the nation's government would
intervene to support its economy following a series of economic
reports that imply the weakest growth in China since the global
* S&P 500 futures rose 3.1 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 22
points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 6 points.
* Economic data on tap for Tuesday includes the January
S&P/Case-Shiller report on home prices at 9:00 a.m. (1300 GMT)
as well as February new home sales data and the Conference Board
consumer confidence index for March scheduled for release at
* Home prices are seen rising 0.7 percent in the month,
while new home sales are expected to slow slightly from January.
The consumer confidence index is seen rising to 78.6 from 78.1.
* In company news, Walt Disney Co agreed to buy
Maker Studios, one of YouTube's largest networks, for $500
million, though the price tag could rise to $950 million if the
company hits certain performance milestones.
* McCormick & Co reported its first-quarter results
and said unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates would
reduce its 2014 sales by 1 percent.
* Internet and biotech stocks will remain in focus following
their tumble on Monday. Facebook Inc, one of the market's
biggest decliners on Monday with a drop of 4.7 percent, rose 0.8
percent to $64.60 in premarket trading.
* Over the past four sessions, the Nasdaq biotechnology
index has lost 9 percent.
(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)