U.S. stock futures signal dip; eyes on banks

* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a lower open on Wall
Street on Monday, with futures for the S&P 500 (SPc2: ) down 0.39
percent, Dow Jones (DJc2: ) futures down 0.38 percent and Nasdaq
100 (NDc1: ) futures down 0.23 at 0900 GMT.

* Bank shares will be in the spotlight after key Republicans
said in a letter obtained by Reuters on Saturday that a
financial regulation reform bill could still be worked out in
the U.S. Senate, despite a recent breakdown in negotiations.
* Oil (CLc1: ) fell below $81 a barrel on Monday, extending
Friday’s losses, pressured by a stronger dollar and weak U.S.
consumer confidence data that fanned worries about flagging
demand in the world’s top energy user.

* The dollar rose broadly as a drop in Asian stocks prompted
some investors to shy away from riskier assets, such as the euro
and sterling, which have been hit by sovereign debt concerns.

* Bank of America Corp (BAC.N: ), the largest U.S. bank, plans
to seek approval to expand its operations in China, the Wall
Street Journal reported on Sunday, citing people familiar with
the situation. [ID:nN14149702]

* Google said on Monday it remained in talks with the
Chinese government about censorship of its Chinese-language
search portal, despite mounting signs the company could soon
shut the site.

* U.S. fund house T Rowe Price (TROW.O: ) is in advanced talks
to buy a stake in China’s biggest asset manager from Citic
Securities Co (600030.SS: ), two sources with direct knowledge of
the deal said on Monday.

* Phillips-Van Heusen (PVH.N: ) is close to a deal to buy U.S.
fashion brand Tommy Hilfiger Corp for about 2.2 billion euros
($3 billion), The New York Times reported on Sunday, citing
people briefed on the matter. [ID:nN14163574]

* China’s key stock index fell 1.2 percent to its lowest
close in five weeks on Monday, as investors expect the central
bank to step up tightening measures in the wake of
higher-than-expected inflation data released last week. European
shares dropped 0.3 percent in morning trade, led lower by miners
such as Rio Tinto (RIO.L: ) and Xstrata (XTA.L: ).

* Mixed consumer and retail data kept U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) near break
even on Friday, but major indexes edged higher for a second
straight week.

* The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) gained 12.85
points, or 0.12 percent, to end at 10,624.69. The Standard &
Poor’s 500 Index (.SPX: ) shed 0.25 point, or 0.02 percent, to
1,149.99. The Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) dipped 0.80 point,
or 0.03 percent, to close at 2,367.66.

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(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Louise Heavens)

U.S. stock futures signal dip; eyes on banks