July 24, 2017 / 2:03 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St opens flat as tech earnings awaited

* Hasbro falls after sales barely scrape past estimates

* WebMD Health jumps after $2.8 bln KKR deal

* Cal-Maine falls after results miss estimates

* Dow off 0.06 pct, S&P down 0.06 pct, Nasdaq up 0.02 pct (Updates to open)

By Tanya Agrawal

July 24 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes opened little changed on Monday, ahead of Google parent Alphabet’s earnings report and a two-day Federal Reserve meeting, which kicks off on Tuesday.

Analysts have raised their expectations for S&P 500 earnings to 9.6 percent, compared with an 8 percent rise projected at the start of the month, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“With indices trading at record highs and central banks favoring a less accommodative stance, earnings will become increasingly important in maintaining or expanding on these levels,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at online forex broker Oanda.

Alphabet reports results after market close, while Amazon and Facebook are due to report results later this week.

Tech continues to be the best performing S&P sector this year, despite investors worrying about stretched valuations.

At 9:35 a.m. ET (1335 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was down 13.28 points, or 0.06 percent, at 21,566.79, the S&P 500 was down 1.69 points, or 0.06 percent, at 2,470.85.

The Nasdaq Composite was up 1.45 points, or 0.02 percent, at 6,389.20.

Eight of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with the materials index’s 0.18 percent fall leading the decliners.

The market will also keep an eye on political developments in Washington, with rising doubts about President Donald Trump’s ability to legislate his pro-growth policies after the failure of the healthcare bill.

The International Monetary Fund shaved its forecasts for U.S. growth to 2.1 percent for both 2017 and 2018 from its earlier estimates of 2.3 percent and 2.5 percent, respectively, citing lack of details on the Trump administration’s stimulus measures.

The Fed is not expected to tighten its monetary policy when it meets on Tuesday, but the market is awaiting its statement for clues on future interest rate hikes.

Shares of Halliburton were up 0.2 percent after the oilfield services provider swung to a quarterly profit.

Egg producer Cal-Maine Foods fell 8.6 percent after its quarterly results fell below expectations.

Hasbro was down 6.7 percent after the toymaker posted the smallest sales beat in one and a half years.

WebMD Health jumped 19.7 percent after KKR & Co agreed to buy the U.S. online health publisher in a deal valued at about $2.8 billion. KKR was off 0.7 percent.

Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the NYSE by 1,366 to 1,128. On the Nasdaq, 1,165 issues rose and 1,068 fell. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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