July 29, 2016 / 11:17 AM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures little changed as investors await earnings

* Futures down: Dow 29 pts, S&P 3.25 pts, Nasdaq 0.75 pts

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

July 29 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday as investors braced for another set of corporate earnings and economic data to assess the health of the economy.

* However, futures were pressured by a 1 percent fall in oil prices, with Brent crude touching the $40 mark over worries of oversupply.

* Google parent Alphabet’s shares surged 3.6 percent to $792.99 after the company’s second-quarter earnings handily beat analysts’ estimates. The stock was the top percentage gainer among S&P 500 components in premarket trading.

* Earnings for companies listed on the benchmark index are now expected to fall 2.8 percent in the latest quarter, compared with the 5 percent estimated at the start of the earnings season, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

* Investors are now waiting for earnings, including those of oil majors Exxon and Chevron.

* Wall Street managed to eke some gains at the close on Thursday, after strong earnings from Alphabet and Amazon.com helped lift spirits that were dampened after Ford’s abysmal numbers and forecast. Amazon.com was up 1.5 percent at $764.

* Investors are also keeping an eye on a U.S. Commerce Department report, which is expected to show that gross domestic product grew at a 2.6 percent rate in the second quarter, compared with a 1.1 percent rise in the first. The report is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).

* A rebound in GDP growth could boost the prospects of an interest rate hike later this year.

* Wynn Resorts shares dropped 8.2 percent to $96.07 after the company announced a smaller-than-expected allocation of new tables for its new $4.2 billion casino in Macau.

* Merck rose 1.8 percent to $59.50 after the drug maker’s second-quarter revenue beat estimates.

* Western Digital fell 2.4 percent to $52.42 after reporting results.

Futures snapshot at 6:57 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were down 29 points, or 0.16 percent, with 31,244 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were down 3.25 points, or 0.15 percent, with 192,707 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 0.75 points, or 0.02 percent, on volume of 24,499 contracts. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru)

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