January 24, 2017 / 1:53 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open flat as earnings season gathers pace

* Dollar edges up after slipping to 7-week low

* Automakers up ahead of meeting with Trump

* Johnson & Johnson slips on revenue miss

* Futures: Dow down 3 pts, S&P down 0.25 pts, Nasdaq up 4.5 pts (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Jan 24 (Reuters) - Wall Street looked set to open little changed on Tuesday as investors assessed quarterly earnings, while seeking clarity on President Donald Trump’s economic policies.

With earnings gathering pace, investors are hoping that corporate performance can justify market valuations, given the recent rally that drove Wall Street to record highs.

Profits of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 6.6 percent in the latest quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

U.S stocks dipped on Monday after Trump warned of border taxes and signed orders to withdraw the United States from the Trans-Pacific trade deal. He has also vowed to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

“The market is waiting for some kind of bullish catalyst to send stocks higher,” said Adam Sarhan, chief executive officer at 50 Park Investments.

“Whether it is political, economics or earnings, something needs to show up to give investors another boost of confidence that better times lie ahead.”

Dow e-minis were down 3 points, or 0.02 percent at 8:20 a.m. ET (1320 GMT), with 19,539 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 0.25 points, or 0.01 percent, with 87,731 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 4.5 points, or 0.09 percent, on volume of 16,726 contracts.

The dollar turned positive after falling to a seven-week low on Tuesday. Oil prices were slightly higher, while gold declined for the first time in four days.

Data due on Tuesday includes a report on existing home sales, which likely fell to 5.52 million in December from 5.61 million the previous month. The report is expected at 10:00 a.m. ET.

Shares of General Motors, Ford rose 0.4 percent each while Fiat Chrysler was up 4.4 percent in premarket trading. Trump is expected to meet the top executives of the auto makers to discuss U.S. jobs.

Johnson & Johnson slipped 1.5 percent to $112.10 after the company reported a quarterly revenue that missed analysts’ expectations.

Apple was off 0.45 percent on a Barclays downgrade to “equal-weight” from “overweight”. Of the 49 brokerages covering the stock, only eight have a “hold” or equivalent rating.

Yahoo rose 3.2 percent after the company reported better-than-expected quarterly profit and revenue and said the sale of its core internet business to Verizon should be completed in the second quarter.

Verizon fell 2.5 percent after reporting a profit that missed expectations. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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