4 Min Read
* Soft demand at Italian debt auction sparks news fears
* Pending U.S. home sales data on tap
* Futures down: Dow 8.1 pts; S&P 64 pts; Nasdaq 13.25 pts
By Angela Moon
NEW YORK, March 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures fell on Wednesday, after a robust rally a day earlier, as soft demand at an Italian debt auction sparked fresh jitters over the financial health of the euro zone.
The Dow climbed more than 100 points Tuesday to another record close, and the S&P 500 rose to within striking distance of its all-time closing high, on optimism about the economy.
"I suspect that we are seeing institutions reposition their positions and the new worries from Europe are causing a bit of technical hiccup in the market today after a solid day yesterday," said Peter Cardillo of Rockwell Global Capital in New York.
Italy paid more to borrow over five years than it has since October at an auction Wednesday as lack of progress in forming a new government and worries about Cyprus's bailout hit demand. The treasury sold $5 billion of the new June 2018 bond at a yield of 3.65 percent, two days after an election in which no party won enough seats to govern.
Cyprus is finalizing capital control measures to prevent a run on its banks by depositors anxious about their savings, after wealthy depositors were penalized under a rescue package agreed with international lenders. Cypriot banks are due to reopen on Thursday.
European stocks slid and the euro currency fell to a four-month low against the dollar on Wednesday.
U.S. investors awaited data on pending home sales for February, due at 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT).
S&P 500 futures fell 8.1 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 lost 64 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures fell 13.25 points.
As Boeing works to regain permission for its 787 Dreamliner to resume flights, the company faces what could be a costly new challenge - a temporary ban on some of the long-distance, trans-ocean journeys the jet was intended to fly. The stock fell 0.3 percent in premarket trade.
BlackBerry will be in focus after data released Tuesday showed short interest in the stock is at record levels and has more than doubled over the course of the last year. Shares were down 0.4 percent in premarket trading.
T-Mobile USA said Tuesday it will start selling Apple Inc's iPhone on April 12, making it the last of the big national U.S. operators to sell the popular smartphone. The No. 4 U.S. mobile provider hopes the device can help stem customer losses.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc said Tuesday it is "probable" the company will incur losses relating to allegations that its representatives had bribed officials in Mexico to speed up expansion there. The stock was off 0.5 percent in premarket trading.
U.S. prosecutors are examining whether JPMorgan Chase & Co fully alerted authorities to suspicions about fraudster Bernard Madoff, the New York Times reported, citing people with direct knowledge of the matter. The stock was off 0.8 percent in premarket trade.