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US STOCKS-Wall St set to open higher; earnings in focus
February 7, 2017 / 2:00 PM / 10 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open higher; earnings in focus

* December trade deficit fell to $44.3 bln vs est. $45 bln

* Michael Kors falls on weak results and forecast cut

* Futures up: Dow 62 pts, S&P 5.5 pts, Nasdaq 11.5 pts (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Wall Street looked set to open higher on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 hovering close to a record high as investors look for a steer from a rush of quarterly earnings reports.

Investors are assessing corporate earnings to see if stock valuations are justified after a post-election rally drove U.S. equities to record highs.

Fourth-quarter earnings are estimated to have risen 8.1 percent - the best in nine quarters.

“We’re a stone’s throw away from all-time highs and the market has been sitting in a relatively tight range, looking for a fresh theme to commit capital,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

While Trump has promised tax cuts and higher infrastructure spending, the lack of detail and his isolationist stance have kept investors cautious. The S&P 500 index has not moved more than 1 percent in either direction since Dec. 7.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq Composite closed little changed on Monday, while the S&P fell slightly as losses in energy companies weighed.

A report from the U.S. Commerce Department showed trade deficit fell more than expected in December as exports rose to their highest level in more than 1-1/2 years, outpacing an increase in imports.

Dow e-minis were up 62 points, or 0.31 percent at 8:31 a.m. ET (1332 GMT), with 22,068 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were up 5.5 points, or 0.24 percent, with 125,285 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 11.5 points, or 0.22 percent, on volume of 22,044 contracts.

Shares of Michael Kors dropped 10 percent in premarket trading after the handbag maker reported disappointing third quarter sales and cut its full-year revenue forecast.

Biogen rose 1.91 percent to $269.96 after Citigroup upgraded the drugmaker’s stock to “buy” from “neutral”.

Health insurer Centene was up 2.15 percent at $65 following better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit.

General Motors slipped 1.17 percent to $36.40 after the automaker said fourth-quarter net income fell partly because of $500 million in foreign exchange losses. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)

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