US STOCKS-Futures slip with Ukraine, Gaza in focus
* EMC jumps on report of activist investor stake
* Futures down: Dow 63 pts, S&P 7 pts, Nasdaq 8 pts (Updates prices)
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK, July 21 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks are set to fall at the open on Monday as developments in Ukraine and the Gaza Strip look to dominate trading amid a thin economic calendar.
* Israeli jets, tanks and artillery continued to pound Gaza as the death toll from a two-week conflict topped 500 amid growing international calls for a ceasefire. Fighters from Hamas, which controls Gaza, have repeatedly tried to infiltrate Israel over the past week through a network of hidden tunnels.
* Fighting flared in the eastern Ukrainian city of Donetsk on Monday as investigators began to inspect the bodies of victims of a Malaysia Airlines jet with 298 people aboard that was shot down last week. The United States and its allies have pointed the finger at pro-Russian rebels and at Moscow itself over the downing of the plane. Russia has denied involvement and blamed the Ukrainian military.
* The United States and the EU last week announced further economic sanctions against Russian interests, and sanctions could become even more stringent following the plane downing.
* S&P 500 e-mini futures were down 7 points and fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract, indicated a lower open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures fell 63 points, and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures lost 8 points.
* EMC Corp jumped 4.7 percent premarket after Elliott Management Corp acquired a $1 billion stake in the data storage equipment maker. The activist investor plans to push EMC to spin off its VMware Inc unit, the Wall Street Journal reported.
* Halliburton Co shares rose 0.7 percent premarket after the world's No. 2 oilfield services provider reported a 20 percent increase in quarterly profit. The company also boosted share repurchases to $6 billion from $5 billion. (Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Nick Zieminski)
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