US STOCKS-Futures imply slight gains on hope for Chinese stimulus

lunes 24 de marzo de 2014 09:07 GYT

* Weak China data raises hopes for stimulus

* Ukraine conflict continues, Russia seizes marine base

* Herbalife rallies, Icahn to get more reps on board

* Futures up: Dow 28 pts, S&P 5 pts, Nasdaq 9 pts (Updates prices, adds NU Skin)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, March 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to modest gains at the open on Monday as weak data on Chinese manufacturing raised hopes of fresh Chinese stimulus to combat slowing momentum, though tensions over Ukraine weighed on sentiment.

* Recent momentum on Wall Street has been to the upside, with the S&P 500 hitting an intraday record on Friday, though it subsequently ended the day lower. Equities have been lifted by some positive domestic data and a belief that the biggest East-West conflict since the Cold War will not escalate.

* Geopolitical concerns continued Monday after Ukraine announced the evacuation of its troops from Crimea, essentially yielding the region to Russian forces, which earlier seized a Ukrainian marine base there. U.S. President Barack Obama, who has imposed personal sanctions against some of Russian President Vladimir Putin's political and business allies, began crisis talks with his European allies.

* While few U.S. companies have excessive exposure to the region, investors are concerned about the potential economic fallout of any escalation in tensions.   Continuación...