August 8, 2016 / 12:57 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-S&P 500 set to open at record high after jobs data

* Delta Air Lines down on system outage

* Mattress Firm doubles on buyout deal

* Futures up: Dow 22 pts, S&P 2.75 pts, Nasdaq 9 pts (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Aug 8 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 was set to open at a record high on Monday after Friday’s stellar jobs data suggested strength in the U.S. economy, boosting appetite for risk.

Futures were also helped by a 1.8 percent rise in oil prices on reports of renewed talks by some OPEC members to restrain output.

The S&P 500 index and the Nasdaq closed at record highs on Friday after data showed that the U.S. economy added 255,000 jobs in July, way more than 180,000 that analysts had estimated.

Gold, a safe haven asset, fell to a one-week low on Monday, while the Japanese yen remained weak suggesting that the markets were in a risk-on mode.

“We’re coming off a strong session on the back of solid economic data that the markets needed to justify additional exposure to equities,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

“There is ample evidence that equities are the only game in town right now.”

Dow e-minis were up 25 points, or 0.14 percent, with 15,834 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were up 2.75 points, or 0.13 percent, with 111,976 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 9 points, or 0.19 percent, on volume of 13,319 contracts.

Although strong jobs report could strengthen the case for an interest rate hike, analysts have said the central bank may wait for more data before it makes the move.

While traders priced in higher rate-hike chances in the near term, they do not expect the Fed to pull the trigger even until July next year, according to CME Group’s FedWatch tool.

A better-than-expected corporate earnings season and strong economic indicators have fueled a rally in equities, with the S&P 500 notching nine record highs since July.

Earnings of S&P 500 companies are expected to fall 2.6 percent in the quarter, compared with the 5 percent decline expected at the start of the season, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Mattress Firm shares more than doubled to $62.86 in thin premarket trading after Steinhoff International agreed to buy the company.

Delta Air Lines fell 1.8 percent after a system outage triggered delays globally.

Netflix fell about 1 percent after Alibaba said it was not making an investment in the online streaming company, contrary to market rumors.

Tyson rose 2.9 percent after reporting a higher-than-expected quarterly profit. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru)

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