US STOCKS-Futures flat after strong February; data on tap

* Personal income and spending data due

* Manufacturing data expected from Markit, ISM

* NXP Semi to buy Freescale Semi

* Futures up: Dow 16 pts, S&P 1.75 pts, Nasdaq 8.25 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, March 2 (Reuters) – Dow Futures were little changed on Monday, after the S&P 500 scored its best monthly performance in more than three years and ahead of data on the consumer and manufacturing sector.

* Personal income and spending data for January is expected at 8:30 a.m. (1330 GMT). Expectations call for spending to decline by 0.1 percent after a 0.3 percent fall in December. Income is forecast to show an increase of 0.4 percent versus the prior 0.3 percent rise.

* Investors will also eye data on the manufacturing sector, with financial data firm Markit final Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index expected at 9:45 a.m. (1445 GMT). The Institute for Supply Management’s reading on the manufacturing sector is scheduled for release at 10:00 a.m. (1500 GMT).

* Major Wall Street indexes dipped on Friday, but the Dow Industrials and S&P 500 still managed their biggest monthly gains since October 2011, while the Nasdaq notched its best month since January 2012. The Nasdaq is within striking distance of the 5,000 mark and record highs set in March 2000.

* Chip maker NXP Semiconductors NV has agreed to buy smaller peer Freescale Semiconductor Ltd and merge operations in a deal valuing the combined company at over $ 40 billion. NXP shares climbed 10.7 percent to $ 94 in premarket trade while Freescale advanced 5.9 percent to $ 38.25.

* Lumber Liquidators dropped 14.2 percent to $ 44.50 before the opening bell after a report by television news program “60 Minutes” said the retailer of hardwood flooring in North America, sold flooring with higher levels of formaldehyde than permitted under California’s health and safety standards.

* Boston Scientific Corp said it will acquire Endo International Plc’s American Medical Systems urology portfolio for up to $ 1.65 billion.

* Warren Buffett, the billionaire chief executive officer and chairman of Berkshire Hathaway, told CNBC on Monday that Berkshire executives Ajit Jain and Greg Abel were not angling for the top Berkshire job.

* Asian stocks edged higher as a cut by China in benchmark lending and deposit rates on Saturday partially offset soft U.S. data.

Futures snapshot at 7:25 a.m. EST (1225 GMT):

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 1.75 points, or 0.08 percent, with 80,379 contracts changing hands.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 8.25 points, or 0.19 percent, in volume of 14,624 contracts.

* Dow e-minis were up 16 points, or 0.09 percent, with 12,845 contracts changing hands.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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