US STOCKS-Futures little changed, housing sales eyed

* Existing home sales seen slipping

* Monetary policy to remain accommodative-Fed official

* Futures: S&P off 0.5 pts, Dow up 9 pts, Nasdaq up 0.75

* For up-to-the-minute market news, click [STXNEWS/US]
(Writes through, adds quote, details, byline)

By Leah Schnurr

NEW YORK, March 23 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S stock index futures were
little changed on Tuesday, while investors awaited data on the
housing market, which remains one of the weakest segments of
the economy.

Lending support to the market, a top Federal Reserve
official said unacceptably high unemployment and well-contained
inflation make it likely that U.S. monetary policy will
continue to be accommodative for at least several more months.
For details, see [ID:nTOE62M039]

On the economic front, existing home sales for February
will be released at 10:00 a.m. EDT (1400 GMT). Sales are
expected to slip to 5 million in February from 5.05 million the
month before, according to Reuters data. Other data includes
the FHFA House Price Index for January, also at 10:00 a.m.

“Existing home sales should bring some clarity to the
economic picture. A positive number will add confidence the
economy is on the right track and that the recession has been
contained,” said Andre Bakhos, president of Princeton Financial
Group in North Brunswick, New Jersey.

Investors are eyeing a European Union summit later in the
week that will tackle Greece’s fiscal problems. Greece wants a
European solution to its debt crisis and expects positive
results from the summit, the country’s finance minister said.

While German Chancellor Angela Merkel continued to rebuff
calls for a support deal on Monday, a German newspaper reported
EU leaders are aiming to present a compromise on aid for Greece
before the start of the summit on Thursday. [ID:nLDE62M0LS]
[ID:nBAT005259]

Shares of Baidu Inc (BIDU.O: ) added 1.6 percent to $588.74
in light premarket trading after rival Google Inc (Read more about Google Stock Analysis) (GOOG.O: ) shut
down its mainland Chinese portal and began rerouting searches
to its Hong Kong website. [ID:nTOE62M01C]

Walgreen Co’s (WAG.N: ) shares inched up 0.5 percent to
$35.49 after the top U.S. drugstore chain reported higher
quarterly profit. [ID:nN23160924]

Companies still due to report quarterly results include
Adobe Systems Inc (ADBE.O: ) and Jabil Circuit Inc (JBL.N: ).

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) slipped 0.5 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 (DJc1: ) gained 9
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) added 0.75 points.

Time Warner Inc (TWX.N: ), Lions Gate Entertainment Corp
(LGF.N: ) and billionaire Len Blavatnik’s Access Industries put
up rival bids of $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion for film studio
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc [MGMYR.UL], sources told Reuters.
[ID:nN22198219]

Stocks rose on Monday, building on last week’s strength, as
the passage of a bill overhauling healthcare ended much of the
uncertainty for investors.

After initially trading lower, the Dow rebounded to finish
at a 17-month high and post its ninth gain in 10 sessions.
[ID:nN22209243]

Stock Market Investing

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Futures little changed, housing sales eyed