U.S. stock index futures trade flat to higher

LONDON Mon Jan 14, 2013 8:56am GMT

LONDON Jan 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a flat to higher open on Wall Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.1 percent at 0844 GMT.

* Dow Jones and Nasdaq 100 futures were unchanged.

* European shares were also flat, with the FTSEurofirst 300 just shy of a two-year high. The pan-European index has risen almost 3 percent since the start of the year.

* The U.S. economy is expected to grow by 2.5 percent in 2013, improving to 3.5 percent growth in 2014, top Fed official Charles Evans said on Monday. Evans also forecast the U.S. unemployment rate would be 7.4 percent, easing to about 7 percent in 2014. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke speaks at 2100 GMT.

* Americans are beginning to feel the pinch from austerity measures. Paychecks across the country have shrunk over the last week due to higher federal tax rates, and workers say they are cutting back on spending.

* Apple Inc has almost halved its order with suppliers of LCD panels for the iPhone 5 in the current quarter due to weak demand, Japanese daily Nikkei reported on Monday.

* Oracle Corp released an update to its Java software for surfing the Web on Sunday, which security experts said fails to protect PCs from attack by hackers intent on committing cyber crimes.

* Transocean Ltd said billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn bought a 1.56 percent stake in the offshore rig contractor and is looking to increase his holding.

* Japan Airlines Co (JAL) said on Sunday that a Boeing Co 787 Dreamliner jet undergoing checks in Tokyo following a fuel leak at Boston airport last week had leaked fuel during tests earlier in the day.

* Pickup truck sales are expected to outpace the broader U.S. auto market this year helped by a recovering housing market and a slew of new models from the three big U.S. automakers, executives and analysts said on Sunday.

* American International Group Inc has filed a lawsuit against a vehicle created by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York to help bail out the insurer, in a bid to preserve its right to sue Bank of America Corp and other issuers of mortgage debt that went sour.

* Bank of America Corp directors have reached a $62.5 million settlement to resolve investor claims over the bank's acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co, a person familiar with the matter said, after a federal judge expressed reservations about an earlier version of the accord.

* JPMorgan Chase & Co's board is expected to dock the 2012 bonuses of Chief Executive James Dimon and another top executive because of the "London Whale" trading debacle, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people close to the company.

* The first big earnings week of 2013 features major banks Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan Chase & Co, as well as online retailer eBay on Wednesday. Thursday's reports include Citigroup, Bank of America and chip maker Intel. General Electric, the largest U.S. conglomerate, is due to post fourth-quarter earnings on Friday.

* The Dow Jones industrial average gained 17.21 points, or 0.13 percent, to 13,488.43. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index dipped 0.07 points to 1,472.05. The Nasdaq Composite Index added 3.88 points, or 0.12 percent, to 3,125.64.

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