July 30, 2018 / 1:23 PM / 18 days ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open higher on strong Caterpillar earnings

* Caterpillar jumps on strong Q2 results, raises forecast

* Tyson Foods falls on profit forecast cut due to tariffs

* Dow up 0.13 pct, S&P and Nasdaq flat (Adds comment, details; Updates prices)

By Amy Caren Daniel

July 30 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open higher on Monday after a strong earnings report from Caterpillar, a bellwether for global economic activity, restored optimism that the ongoing trade war would not hit corporate results more than feared.

Caterpillar’s shares jumped 2.3 percent in premarket trading after it reported a second-quarter profit that beat estimates and the heavy equipment maker also raised its full-year profit outlook.

The industrial sector has been sensitive to the ongoing trade dispute between the U.S. and China, which has roiled the global financial markets since early March.

“The market has had a heck of a run over the last week or so and with only 13 S&P components reporting today, people are expecting the day to be quieter,” said Michael Antonelli, managing director, institutional sales trading at Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

“There will be eyes on industrials due to Caterpillar’s results and people will be keeping an eye on FAANG stocks for any sign of weakness.”

The technology index fell 1.2 percent last week after underwhelming forecasts from Facebook, Intel and Twitter threw up questions about the growth prospects of a sector whose surge has propelled the stock market to record highs.

Apple was up 0.5 percent and is among the few marquee tech companies yet to report results. It is due to report earnings on Tuesday after the bell.

At 8:57 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 33 points, or 0.13 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.5 points, or 0.02 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 3.75 points, or 0.05 percent.

Still, with the earnings season in full swing, expectations for second-quarter results remain robust.

Profits at S&P 500 companies are now expected to have risen 22.6 percent, higher than the estimate of 20.7 percent as of July 1, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Of the 265 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far, 82.3 percent topped analysts’ estimates.

The Federal Reserve meets on Tuesday and Wednesday and is expected to keep rates unchanged and reaffirm outlook for further rate hikes. The market has almost fully priced in a September hike and is leaning towards a further move before the end of the year.

American Express fell 1.4 percent after the Wall Street Journal reported the company raised currency conversion rates for its business clients without notifying its customers.

Tyson Foods fell 4.7 percent, after the company cut its full-year profit forecast, saying uncertain trade policies and higher tariffs hurt domestic and export prices, specifically for chicken and pork.

The warning also weighed on the shares of Hormel Foods , Sanderson Farms and Pilgrim’s Pride, which fell between 0.3 and 1.8 percent. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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