U.S. stock index futures signal pause at the open

LONDON, March 15 Fri Mar 15, 2013 3:44pm IST

LONDON, March 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat-to-lower open on Wall Street on Friday, with the Dow Jones industrial average set to fall at the start after chalking up a 10-day winning streak.

* June futures for the Dow Jones were down 0.1 percent at 0947 GMT, while equivalent contracts on the Nasdaq 100 and the S&P 500 were flat.

* March futures and options are due to expire on Friday, which could bring some volatility as some investors rebalance their portfolios.

* European shares held near 4-1/2-year highs as growing evidence of a U.S. recovery bolstered investor appetite for riskier assets.

* The New York Federal Reserve releases its Empire State Manufacturing Survey for March at 1230. It is expected to rise to 10.00 compared with 10.04 in February.

* February's Consumer Price Index and real earnings are also due to be published at 1230 GMT.

* Thomson Reuters and the University of Michigan release their preliminary March consumer sentiment index at 1355. A reading of 78 is expected, compared with 77.6 in the final February report.

* Silver Lake Partners, the technology-focused private equity firm backing a $24.4 billion bid to take Dell Inc private, is close to raising $10 billion for its latest fund, exceeding its initial fundraising target on strong investor demand, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

* Boeing Co expressed confidence on Friday that it could have its grounded 787 Dreamliner jets flying again in a matter of weeks, after it unveiled its proposed fix for the aircraft's battery system that it says would eliminate the risk of fire.

* Samsung Electronics Co challenged Apple Inc on its home turf as the South Korean technology giant premiered its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S4, which sports a bigger display and unconventional features such as gesture controls.

* IBM Corp and EMC Corp are among parties in talks to buy privately held database web hosting company SoftLayer Technologies Inc, in a deal that could fetch over $2 billion, three sources close to the matter said.

* The Dow Jones industrial average gained 83.86 points, or 0.58 percent, to 14,539.14 on Thursday, a record closing high. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index rose 8.71 points, or 0.56 percent, to 1,563.23, about 2 points from its record closing high of 1,565.15, set on Oct. 9, 2007.

* The Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 13.81 points, or 0.43 percent, to end at 3,258.93.

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