August 1, 2017 / 1:04 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Dow set to open at record with earnings in focus

* Core PCE for June up 0.1 pct vs similar rise in May

* Pandora, Under Armour fall after cutting forecasts

* Sprint higher after swinging to quarterly profit

* Futures up: Dow 92 pts, S&P 5 pts, Nasdaq 16.25 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal

Aug 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes looked set to kick off the month on a strong note, with the Dow on track to open at a record high on Tuesday as investors assessed a raft of quarterly earnings reports.

All eyes will be on the quarterly performance of Dow-component Apple, which reports results after the closing bell. The iPhone maker’s shares were up 0.36 percent in premarket trading.

Tech has been the best performing sector this year, despite the sector going through bouts of volatility of late on rising valuation concerns.

Investors have been counting on earnings to support high valuations for equities. The S&P 500 is trading at about 18 times earnings estimates for the next 12 months, above its long-term average of 15 times.

S&P 500 earnings are expected on average to have grown 10.8 percent in the second quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

“It’s been a very good earnings season so far which is helping to sustain U.S. stocks at record highs and offset any disappointment with Donald Trump’s inability to make progress on his growth policies,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at online forex broker Oanda.

The Dow hit a record closing high on Monday, helped by Boeing, while selling in technology companies kept the S&P 500 in check and pulled the Nasdaq lower.

Dow e-minis were up 92 points, or 0.42 percent, with 32,138 contracts changing hands at 8:33 a.m. ET (1233 GMT).

S&P 500 e-minis were up 5 points, or 0.2 percent, with 176,370 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 16.25 points, or 0.28 percent, on volume of 31,676 contracts.

Economic data showed U.S. consumer spending barely rose in June as income failed to increase for the first time in seven months.

The core PCE numbers - the Federal Reserve’s preferred metric to gauge inflation - for June edged up 0.1 percent following a similar increase in May.

In the 12 months through June, the so-called core PCE price index increased 1.5 percent after advancing by the same margin in May, remaining below the Fed’s 2 percent target rate.

Softening inflation and incessant political turmoil has hit prospects of another rate hike this year. Traders are pricing in a 47 percent chance of a December hike, compared with a 50 percent probability a month ago, according to CME’s Fedwatch tool.

Pfizer edged down 0.18 percent after the drugmaker’s quarterly revenue missed expectations.

Under Armour fell 2.93 percent after the sportswear maker cut its full-year sales forecast.

Pandora Media was down 4.92 percent as the online music streaming service provider cut its full-year forecast.

Sprint rose 3.38 percent after swinging to a quarterly profit for the first time in three years. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

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