PARIS Dec 27 U.S. stock index futures pointed to a steady open on Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 up 0.04 percent, Dow Jones futures up 0.05 percent and Nasdaq 100 futures down 0.02 percent at 0941 GMT.
* European shares rose early on Thursday in their first trading session following the Christmas break, with investors focusing on Washington's last-ditch efforts to avoid a damaging bout of fiscal tightening next year.
* Efforts to prevent the U.S. economy from going over its 'fiscal cliff' resumed on Wednesday with less than a week to go before the potentially disastrous tax hikes and spending cuts kick in.
* In a sign that there may be a way through the deadlock in Congress, Republican House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner offered to at consider any bill the Democrat-controlled Senate produced. President Barack Obama will try to revive budget crisis talks when he returns to Washington on Thursday after cutting short his Christmas break.
* U.S. stocks fell on Wednesday, dragged lower by retail stocks after a report showed consumers spent less in the holiday shopping season than last year.
* The 2012 holiday season may have been the worst for retailers since the 2008 financial crisis, with sales growth far below expectations, forcing many to offer massive post-Christmas discounts in hopes of shedding excess inventory.
* The Dow Jones industrial average slipped 24.49 points, or 0.19 percent, to 13,114.59 at Wednesday's close. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index shed 6.83 points, or 0.48 percent, to 1,419.83. The Nasdaq Composite Index dropped 22.44 points, or 0.74 percent, to 2,990.16.
The Pentagon releases photographs linked to allegations of abuse of detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan.