U.S. stock index futures signal mixed Wall St open

LONDON Thu Jan 17, 2013 9:15am GMT

LONDON Jan 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures pointed to a mixed open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 rising 0.1 percent, Dow Jones futures down 0.2 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures falling 0.1 percent.

* Airlines scrambled on Thursday to rearrange flights as Europe, Japan and India joined the United States in grounding Boeing Co's 787 Dreamliner passenger jets while battery-related problems are investigated.

* Earnings reports from major U.S. companies such as Citigroup, Intel, Bank of America and BlackRock, due later in the day, will be scrutinised for hints about the market's near-term direction.

* First-time claims for jobless benefits for the week ended Jan. 12 are due at 1330 GMT. Economists forecast a total of 365,000 new filings, compared with 371,000 in the previous week.

* The Commerce Department releases housing starts and permits for December at 1330 GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of 903,000 permits in December, compared with 900,000 in the previous month.

* Top executives at Goldman Sachs have been considering deep cuts to staffing levels and pay for at least two years, but feared too many layoffs would leave the firm unprepared for an eventual pickup in business, people familiar with the bank said.

* Shares in Dutch telecoms company KPN rose more than 4 percent on Thursday after a report that U.S. peer AT&T is looking at an acquisition in Europe, including KPN and UK carrier Everything Everywhere.

AT&T is considering buying a telecoms company in Europe to offset growth constraints in its home market, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed people familiar with the company's thinking.

* Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd reported a 32 percent rise in fourth-quarter profit as its cutting-edge technology keeps it ahead of rivals in the mobile gadget boom.

* Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank releases its January business activity survey at 1500 GMT. Economists forecast a reading of 5.8, versus 4.6 in December.

* The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 index was flat in morning trading on Thursday.

* The S&P 500 ended nearly flat on Wednesday as solid earnings from two major banks and a bounceback in Apple shares offset concerns about a lower forecast for global growth in 2013.

* The Dow Jones industrial average was down 23.66 points, or 0.17 percent, at 13,511.23 on Wednesday. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index was up 0.29 points, or 0.02 percent, at 1,472.63. The Nasdaq Composite Index was up 6.77 points, or 0.22 percent, at 3,117.54.

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