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U.S. futures steady amid E.Z. worries; Dow Jones up 0.06%

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Investing.com - U.S. stock futures pointed to a steady open on Tuesday, as markets were jittery amid sustained concerns over the handling of the sovereign debt crisis in the euro zone.

Ahead of the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures pointed to a 0.06% gain, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.10% rise, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.11% increase.

Sentiment weakened on Monday following news that a one-time tax was to be imposed on bank deposit holders as part of a EUR10 billion bailout deal for Cyprus.

The agreement marked the first time since the onset of the euro zone debt crisis that depositors have been forced to take a haircut in return for financial aid.

Meanwhile, investors were looking ahead to the outcome of the Federal Reserve's policy meeting on Wednesday after data on Friday showing that U.S. inflation was contained in February left the way clear for the bank to continue its asset purchase program.

Financial stocks were expected to be active, after Citigroup said it agreed to pay USD730 million to settle a class action lawsuit on behalf of investors who said they were misled by the lender's disclosures.

Separately, BlackRock, the world's largest money manager, was reportedly preparing to cut nearly 300 jobs, or about 3% of its workforce.

Aircraft manufacturers Boeing was also likely to remain in focus, technical workers voted to ratify a new four-year labor agreement with the company, ending the possibility of a strike that could have cut production.

Among pharmaceuticals, drugmaker Affymax was slated to move lower, following a more than 57% drop on Monday, after it said it was considering selling itself or filing for bankruptcy, as it struggles to stay afloat following the recent recall of its sole commercial product, the anemia drug Omontys.

Elsewhere, the head of Valero Energy said on Monday his company is not pursuing a sale of its two California refineries, putting an end to months of speculation.

Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The EURO STOXX 50 slid 0.71%, France's CAC 40 tumbled 0.91%, Germany's DAX declined 0.52%, while Britain's FTSE 100 declined 0.31%.

During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slipped 0.19%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Index surged 2.03%.

Later in the day, the U.S. was to release official data on building permits and housing starts.

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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