US STOCKS-Futures sharply higher after Crimea vote
* Markets deemed vulnerable to geopolitical shocks
* S&P 500 comes off biggest weekly decline in seven
* Alibaba will begin U.S. IPO process
* Futures up: Dow 85 pts, S&P 9.5 pts, Nasdaq 22.75 pts
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, March 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Monday, rebounding from a steep drop in the previous week, after Sunday's referendum over whether Crimea will join Russia passed without violence.
* While markets are seen as vulnerable to further developments in what is considered the biggest crisis between Russia and the United States since the Cold War, anticipated sanctions against Russia had yet to materialize.
* The 97-percent vote in Crimea in favor of quitting Ukraine was condemned as illegal by Kiev and the West, with the White House calling Russian actions "dangerous and destabilizing."
* The geopolitical tension weighed on equities last week, with the S&P 500 suffering its biggest weekly loss in seven. The benchmark index closed below a key technical support level of 1,850 for a second straight day on Friday, and is now down 2 percent from its all-time closing high. Continuación...