US STOCKS-Futures fall after Apple’s weighting in index is cut

NEW YORK, April 5 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures fell
on Tuesday after a slide in Apple Inc, which had its weighting
cut in a rebalancing of shares in the Nasdaq 100, forcing some
to sell the iPhone maker’s stock.

* Once the rebalancing is effective on May 2, the projected
weight of Apple Inc (AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) will be 12.33 percent of the index
compared with its current 20.49 percent, Nasdaq OMX (NDAQ.O: Quote, Profile, Research)
said on its website. For details see [ID:nL3E7F510G].

* The rebalancing requires sponsors of exchange traded
funds which track the Nasdaq 100 (.NDX: Quote, Profile, Research), like the heavily
traded PowerShares QQQ Trust (QQQ.O: Quote, Profile, Research) to also lower their
holdings of Apple shares. Apple shares fell 1.5 percent in
premarket trading.

* Microsoft Corp’s (MSFT.O: Quote, Profile, Research) weighting in the index will
rise, and its shares gained 2.7 percent before the open.

* Other tech stocks in focus include Texas Instruments
(TXN.N: Quote, Profile, Research) after it launched a $6.5 billion takeover bid for
National Semiconductor Corp (NSM.N: Quote, Profile, Research), offering a 78 percent
premium. National Semi traded up 71.6 percent at $24.15
premarket. [ID:nN04281619]

* S&P 500 futures (SPc1: Quote, Profile, Research) fell 4.7 points and were below
fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into
account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures (DJc1: Quote, Profile, Research) lost 31
points and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: Quote, Profile, Research) dropped 20.25 points.

* Oil prices hovered near their highest levels since 2008
on Tuesday, with Brent near $121 a barrel. Oil prices were
supported by the unrest in the Middle East and North Africa as
well as delays in elections in Nigeria. [O/R]

* Investors will also look closely at the minutes from the
latest meeting of the Federal Reserve’s policy-setting
committee. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said a recent
rise in U.S. inflation was driven primarily by rising commodity
prices globally and was unlikely to persist.

* The S&P 500 met tough resistance on Monday, failing to
break a level that has held since mid-February. It ended flat
even as a spate of deals and underlying strength in the economy
spurred optimism.

* About 5.94 billion shares traded on the New York Stock
Exchange, NYSE Amex and Nasdaq, the lowest total of the year.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Kenneth Barry)

US STOCKS-Futures fall after Apple’s weighting in index is cut