August 7, 2018 / 1:04 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St to open higher as oil lifts energy stocks

* Oil prices up 1 pct

* Office Depot, Energen rise on profit beat

* VIX eases to levels before early-Feb selloff

* Futures up: Dow 0.37 pct, S&P 0.22 pct, Nasdaq 0.27 pct (Changes comment, adds details; updates prices)

By Amy Caren Daniel

Aug 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes were set to open higher on Tuesday as energy shares gained on the back of higher oil prices.

Crude oil rose more than 1 percent on expectations of tighter global supplies as the United States reimposed some sanctions on major exporter Iran.

Exxon rose 0.8 percent and Chevron 0.6 percent, among the biggest gainers on the Dow in premarket trading.

Technology shares were among the most traded as a rebound in the Shanghai stock market helped drive gains in U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies.

E-commerce giant Alibaba gained 1.2 percent after sources told Reuters that it planned to merge its food delivery units and raise funds for the combined business. was up 1.1 percent.

The S&P 500 edged closer to a record it hit on Jan. 26 on Monday, closing within a percentage point of the all-time high for the first time since the current correction began.

“There is a follow through from the markets finishing higher on Monday,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

“Strong earnings is part of what has kept the market buoyant and one of the reasons why we’re in an uptrend right now.”

Office Depot jumped 7.1 percent, while Energen climbed 1.2 percent after their quarterly profits beat expectations.

Of the 413 S&P 500 companies that have reported earnings so far, 79.2 percent have topped estimates. If the beat rate holds, it will be the highest on record, dating back to the first quarter of 1994, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term gyrations for the S&P 500, dropped to 10.52 points, a level not seen since the early February selloff.

At 8:35 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 93 points, or 0.37 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.25 points, or 0.22 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 19.75 points, or 0.27 percent.

Walt Disney rose 0.7 percent ahead of its results later in the day.

Marriott International fell 2.5 percent after the world’s largest hotel chain signaled weakness in revenue per available room (revPAR) in North America for the third quarter.

Express Scripts dropped 2.1 percent after billionaire investor Carl Icahn urged Cigna’s shareholders to vote against the health insurer’s $52 billion acquisition. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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