* Second-qtr wage growth slowest in 33 years
* Exxon, Chevron fall as weak oil prices weigh on profits
* Royal Caribbean, Expedia rise after results
* Futures up: Dow 2 pts, S&P 4 pts, Nasdaq 11 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
July 31 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open little changed on Friday following a spate of uninspiring corporate results including that of Exxon Mobil, and a drop in prices of crude oil and major industrial metals.
However, an historically weak reading of U.S wage growth provided some support on the view that the Fed could delay the timing of rate increase.
U.S. labor costs in the second quarter recorded their smallest increase in 33 years amid tepid gains in the private sector with the Employment Cost Index edging up 0.2 percent, compared with a 0.7 percent increase in the first quarter.
The U.S. Federal Reserve has said it will raise rates only when it sees a sustained recovery in the economy.
Exxon Mobil and Chevron shares fell about 2 percent after quarterly profits fell sharply on falling oil prices.
S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.5 points, or 0.17 percent, with 156,082 contracts traded at 8:57 a.m. ET. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 10.5 points, or 0.23 percent, on volume of 24,552 contracts while Dow e-minis were up 2 points, or 0.01 percent, with 17,914 contracts changing hands.
Oil prices fell after OPEC indicated there would be no output cuts despite a huge global oversupply, while copper was lower on lingering worries about demand in top consumer China.
A sharp selloff in Chinese shares over the past weeks has stoked concerns about a slowdown in growth in the world’s second-biggest economy.
“Essentially they (commodities) have been on the downtrend for a month and of course we have been on a roller coaster ride in China equities and that has affected sentiment,” said Societe Generale strategist Alvin Tan.
Wall Street ended flat on Thursday as investors digested ho-hum corporate earnings and new data showed that economic growth accelerated in the second quarter.
With more than half of the S&P 500 companies having reported quarterly results, analysts expect overall earnings to edge up 1 percent and revenue to decline 3.6 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
”Earnings beating expectations is all well and good but revenue growth hasn’t been encouraging and that’s the real fly in the ointment, said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York.
Valuations remain a concern. The S&P 500 is trading near 16.8 times forward 12-month earnings, above the 10-year median of 14.7 times, according to StarMine data.
Data expected on Friday includes the University of Michigan’s final July reading on the overall index on consumer sentiment at 10 a.m. ET (1400 GMT), which is estimated to come in at 94.0, a bit higher from a preliminary reading of 93.3.
LinkedIn shares fell 7.9 percent to $209.23 in premarket trading after the operator of the biggest social networking site for professionals reported a bigger net loss.
FireEye fell 5.4 percent to $45.20 after the cybersecurity company reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth since going public in 2013, and said its Chief Financial Officer will step down.
Expedia rose 7.8 percent to $116 after the company posted a second-quarter profit above analysts’ expectations and announced a larger dividend.
Royal Caribbean Cruises rose 6.3 percent to $88.01 after the world’s second-largest cruise operator by revenue reported a rise in quarterly profit. (Editing by Don Sebastian)