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Published: Friday, 3/22/2013

Futures edge up after Cyprus bank deal with Greece

REUTERS

NEW YORK — U.S. stock index futures edged up on Friday, erasing earlier losses, after Cyprus agreed with Greece on a takeover of the Greek units of Cypriot banks, which ended uncertainty over the fate of those operations.

— Cyprus agrees to spin off Greek units of Cypriot banks

— Wall Street on track to end the week lower

— Futures up: S&P 3.5 pts; Dow 31 pts; Nasdaq 6.8 pts

 Euro zone finance ministers had excluded the Greek branches of Cypriot banks from a controversial tax in the island's international bailout plan, on condition those units would be transferred to Greek banks.

Wall Street was on track to end the week lower, after having advanced for the three previous weeks. The S&P 500 index was off 1 percent for the week so far.

S&P 500 futures rose 3.5 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 31 points while Nasdaq 100 futures added 6.8 points.

Blackstone Group LP and General Electric Co's lending arm have discussed jointly pursuing Dell Inc's financial-services business, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

The New York Times separately said Blackstone was weighing making an offer for all or part of Dell, and that some people close to the private equity firm were skeptical that any offer would materialize.

Tiffany & Co reported a slightly higher profit for the quarter that included the holiday season and said net worldwide sales would rise 6 percent to 8 percent this fiscal year, with growth in all regions.

Julius Genachowski, chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, is set to announce today he will step down after four years that included a successful challenge to AT&T Inc's proposed merger with T-Mobile USA, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter.



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