May 22, 2017 / 11:31 AM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Futures flat as rise in oil offsets political concerns

* Futures up: Dow 13 pts, S&P 0.25 pts, Nasdaq 4.75 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

May 22 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Monday as a rise in oil prices offset concerns regarding ongoing political turmoil in the United States.

* Crude oil prices gained, bolstered by confidence that top exporters will this week agree to extend supply curbs, with suggestions that the cuts could even be deepened.

* Both benchmarks, Brent crude and U.S. light crude, have climbed more than 10 percent from lows hit earlier this month.

* Wall Street ended lower last week on concerns about U.S. President Donald Trump’s firing of a former FBI head and reports of his administration’s links to Russia, including on a federal investigation into possible coordination between Russia and Trump’s election campaign.

* Investors have been closely following events in Washington as they worry whether Trump will be able to fulfill campaign promises for fiscal stimulus and tax reform. Many investors saw the policy promises as a key reason for the post-election rally.

* While the political developments in Washington continue to play on investors’ minds, sentiment has been bolstered by the strong quarterly earnings season.

* Corporate reports show that, overall, earnings for S&P 500 companies increased 15.1 percent in the first quarter, their best showing since 2011, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

* Shares of Amgen fell 2.3 percent to $152.89 in premarket trading after the company and UCB SA said they no longer expect their experimental osteoporosis drug to win U.S. approval this year.

* Ford Motor was up 1.7 percent at $11.05 after Reuters reported the automaker is expected to announce the departure of Chief Executive Mark Fields.

* Huntsman rose 6.8 percent to $28.52 after the company said it and Swiss Clariant are combining to create a chemical manufacturer with a market value of over than $14 billion.

Futures snapshot at 6:58 a.m. ET (1058 GMT):

* Dow e-minis were up 13 points, or 0.06 percent, with 17,731 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.25 points, or 0.01 percent, with 112,955 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 4.75 points, or 0.08 percent, on volume of 21,423 contracts. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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