U.S. stock index futures signal mixed open

LONDON Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:58pm IST

LONDON Feb 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a mixed Wall Street open on Wednesday, with futures for the S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 indexes slipping 0.1 percent, while futures for the Dow Jones rose 0.1 percent by 0933 GMT.

* U.S. durables goods and homes data due out at 1330 and 1500 GMT respectively should provide further clues on the health of the world's largest economy.

* The Pentagon program chief for the F-35 warplane slammed its commercial partners Lockheed Martin and Pratt & Whitney on Wednesday, accusing them of trying to "squeeze every nickel" out of the U.S. government and failing to see the long-term benefits of the project.

Pratt & Whitney is 99 percent sure the fan blade problem that grounded the Pentagon's 51 new F-35 fighter jets was not caused by high-cycle fatigue, which could force a costly design change, according to two sources familiar with an investigation by the enginemaker.

* Airbus parent EADS predicted higher profit this year on the heels of stronger than expected 2012 earnings and a clampdown on costs, with the development of its A350 jet remaining the biggest wild card in its bid to match rival Boeing .

* Partner Communications, Israel's second-largest mobile phone operator, reported weaker-than-expected quarterly profit and said it could have weak earnings throughout 2013 due to fierce competition that has slashed calling rates.

* The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was up 0.1 percent at 1,151.69 points by 1010 GMT on Wednesday while the euro zone's Euro STOXX 50 index also advanced 0.1 percent, although concerns over Italy's political stalemate were likely to cap gains.

* The Dow Jones industrial average gained 115.96 points, or 0.84 percent, to 13,900.13 at the close on Tuesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 9.09 points, or 0.61 percent, to 1,496.94. The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 13.40 points, or 0.43 percent, to close at 3,129.65.

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