US STOCKS-Futures little changed ahead of big earnings

Reuters

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* Futures up: Dow 15 pts, S&P 1.5 pts, Nasdaq 9.5 pts By Tanya Agrawal July 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Monday as investors treaded water ahead of a busy earnings week from big U.S. companies. * Bank of America BAC.N , Morgan Stanley MS.N , Goldman Sachs GS.N , Microsoft MSFT.O , IBM IBM.N and Johnson and Johnson JNJ.N are scheduled to report results this week. * Netflix NFLX.O , which is scheduled to report results after the market close on Monday, rose 0.9 percent in premarket trading. * Analysts estimate second-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 companies rose 8.1 percent from a year earlier. First-quarter earnings posted their best performance since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters data. * Earnings will be closely watched to see if high valuations are justified in the face of tepid inflation and a recent patch of mixed economic data. * The S&P 500 has been trading at about 18 times earnings estimates for the next 12 months, compared with the long-term average of 15 times. * The Dow and the S&P hit record highs on Friday after weak economic data dulled prospects of more interest rate hikes this year. * Last week, investor sentiment got a boost after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said future rate hikes could be gradual in the face of persistently low inflation. The Fed will meet next on July 25-26. * Oil rose above $49 a barrel as a slowdown in the growth of rigs drilling in the United States eased concern that surging shale supplies will undermine OPEC-led cuts. O/R * World shares continued to hover near record highs after data showed China's economy grew at a faster-than-forecast 6.9 percent year-on-year in the second quarter. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1K81AY * Shares of BlackRock BLK.N slipped 0.3 percent after the world's biggest asset manager's quarterly profit came in below expectations. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1K83MB * Procter & Gamble PG.N fell 0.23 percent after activist investor Nelson Peltz's Trian Fund Management said it is seeking a board seat at the company. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL3N1K83LL Futures snapshot at 6:57 a.m. ET (1057 GMT): * Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 15 points, or 0.07 percent, with 12,879 contracts changing hands. * S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 1.5 points, or 0.06 percent, with 90,069 contracts traded. * Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 9.5 points, or 0.16 percent, on volume of 17,454 contracts. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal) ((tanya.agrawal@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 1130; Reuters Messaging: tanya.agrawal.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: USA STOCKS/

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