July 14, 2017 / 11:27 AM / 11 days ago

US STOCKS-Futures flat ahead of key data; JPM kicks off earnings

3 Min Read

* Indexes: Dow up 1 pt, S&P off 0.5 pts, Nasdaq down 0.25 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

July 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday as investors awaited key data for a reading on the health of the economy while JPMorgan kicked off second-quarter earnings.

* Analysts estimate second-quarter earnings for S&P 500 companies rose 7.8 percent from a year earlier, with financials projected to have had the third-best profit growth among sectors, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

* Shares of JPMorgan edged up 0.4 percent in premarket trading after the biggest U.S. bank by assets, reported a 13.4 percent increase in quarterly profit.

* Citigroup and Wells Fargo are due to report later in the morning. Bank of America, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley report results next week.

* Over the last seven trading days, investors have more than doubled the amount of cash invested in a key financial sector fund, betting that bank earnings will be strong.

* 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 U.S. Labor Department will issue its Consumer Price Index (CPI) for June that is expected to rise 1.7 percent annually, but lower than 1.9 percent increase reported in May. The data is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).

* Retail sales data for June and consumer sentiment data for July are also expected.

* Risk sentiment got a boost this week, with the Dow hitting another record close on Thursday, following dovish comments on interest rate hikes from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

* Yellen said the central bank's further rate hikes could be gradual, given persistently low inflation and that it would be "quite challenging" for U.S. growth to reach a 3-percent target set by President Donald Trump.

* Among stocks, Fiat Chrysler slipped 0.7 percent, after the automaker recalled 1.33 million vehicles worldwide for potential fire risks and inadvertent airbag deployments.

Futures snapshot at 7:05 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 1 points, or 0 percent, with 13,938 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were down 0.5 points, or 0.02 percent, with 73,695 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 0.25 points, or -0 percent, on volume of 14,664 contracts. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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