US STOCKS-Wall Street set to open flat ahead of earnings

lunes 12 de enero de 2015 10:05 GYT

* Earnings season begins this week

* NPS Pharma climbs in premarket; to be acquired by Shire

* Foundation Medicine jumps; Roche to take majority stake

* Futures up: Dow 27 pts, S&P 2.75 pts, Nasdaq 8 pts (Adds quote, updates prices)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, Jan 12 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open little changed on Monday, after a two-week decline pushed the S&P 500 back into negative territory for the year, as investors anticipated the start of the corporate earnings season.

Oil prices continued their downward march and helped weaken futures, with Brent down 3.8 percent to $48.20 and U.S. crude down 3.7 percent to $46.59 as Goldman Sachs slashed its short-term price forecasts and Gulf producers showed no signs of curbing output.

"During this cycle, since the beginning of the precipitous selloff in the commodity price, we have seen very few days where you would have a three percent move in crude and see stock prices hold onto gains," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.

"Investors have a lot of other things to think about, like the pace of Fed tightening, a Greek exit, the possibility of quantitative easing coming from the ECB, but in reality, we are either going to focus on energy prices or earnings will kick in and they will shift their focus to fundamentals."   Continuación...