US STOCKS-Futures weaken on Greece concerns, China data

* Qualcomm jumps in premarket, to buy back shares

* Crude oil falls; Exxon, Halliburton weaker

* Futures down: Dow 156 pts, S&P 18 pts, Nasdaq 33.25 pts (Updates prices)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, March 10 (Reuters) – Dow Futures fell on Tuesday, pressured by weaker-than-expected data out of China as well as ongoing concerns about debt talks in Greece.

Concern also came from a report that the Basel Committee may ask banks to boost capital as a sufficient cushion in case of spikes in interest rates. Rate policy has been a primary driver of equities of late; on Friday, the S&P 500 suffered its biggest one-day decline in almost two months after a stronger-than-expected jobs report was seen as goading the Federal Reserve into speeding up its time frame for raising rates.

Euro zone ministers agreed that technical talks between finance experts from Athens and its international creditors would start on Wednesday, with the aim of unlocking further funding. However, the ministers warned Greece that it had “no time to lose.”

Greece’s debt issues have been on the back burner for U.S. investors of late, but they continue to watch the region with caution. While the U.S. has little direct exposure to the country, there are concerns that extended uncertainly could spread throughout the euro zone.

In China, the pace of inflation unexpectedly picked up in February while producer prices continued to slide, underscoring the intense pressure on profit margins at Chinese companies and adding urgency to policymakers’ efforts to find new ways to support growth.

Despite the weakness implied by futures, the S&P 500 is about 1.8 percent below its record closing high from last week, while the Dow is about 1.6 percent below its record.

In company news, Qualcomm Inc rose 2.3 percent to $ 74.40 in premarket trading a day after the chipmaker said it would buy back up to $ 15 billion of shares and raise its quarterly dividend.

Urban Outfitters Inc (NasdaqGS: URBN – news) late Monday reported earnings that beat expectations, lifted by an increase in same-store sales. Shares (Berlin: DI6.BE – news) rose 6.6 percent to $ 42.10 before the bell.

Energy shares will likely be in focus as crude oil fell 0.7 percent, down for its third day of the past four sessions. Exxon Mobil (Swiss: XOM.SW – news) fell 0.9 percent to $ 84.39 in premarket trading while Halliburton Co was off 2 percent to $ 41.09.

Futures snapshot at 7:57 a.m.:

* S&P 500 e-minis were down 18 points, or 0.87 percent, with 152,340 contracts changing hands.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 33.25 points, or 0.75 percent, in volume of 23,001 contracts.

* Dow e-minis were down 156 points, or 0.87 percent, with 24,488 contracts changing hands.

(Editing by W Simon)

Dow Futures

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