June 21, 2018 / 1:17 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street set for choppy open as trade tensions linger

* China looking to target Dow companies - Chinese paper

* Auto sector spooked by Daimler, BMW warnings over trade

* Micron jumps after strong results, forecast

* Kroger, Darden gain on strong quarterly reports

* Futures down: Dow 0.34 pct, S&P 0.14 pct, Nasdaq 0.07 pct (Adds comment, adds details, updates prices)

By Medha Singh

June 21 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set for a mixed open on Thursday, as a clutch of strong earnings and resilience in heavyweight technology stocks countered some of the worries over the effects of an ongoing trade spat between the United States and China.

The latest casualty of the trade spat is the auto industry, with Germany’s Daimler cutting its 2018 profit forecast and BMW looking at “strategic options” due to the trade worries.

Shares of U.S. automakers fell premarket, Ford slipped 0.6 percent while General Motors declined 1.1 percent.

If U.S. President Donald Trump keeps exacerbating tensions over trade, Beijing could strike at members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, state-controlled Chinese tabloid The Global Times said in a commentary.

Shares of Dow members Caterpillar and Boeing, reliant on China for a sizeable chunk of revenue, were marginally lower.

“China has mainly been targeting agricultural space so if they start to target some of the Dow companies, people will start to get more concerned,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist and senior portfolio manager at SlateStone Wealth LLC in New York.

At 8:58 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 83 points, or 0.34 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 4 points, or 0.14 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 5 points, or 0.07 percent.

The futures implied that the 30-member Dow would open slightly lower, on pace to continue a seven-session losing streak, but the S&P and Nasdaq could be boosted by technology stocks.

Semiconductor companies, many of which also depend heavily on China for their business, could get some respite from Micron’s better-than-expected results and forecast due to strong demand for its memory chips. The chipmaker’s shares were up 4.1 percent.

The so-called FAANG stocks were higher, set to continue their record run, and could again support the market, as they did on Wednesday.

The five stocks – Facebook, Amazon, Apple , Netflix and Alphabet – were up between 0.2 percent and 1 percent.

Darden Restaurants gained 12 percent after reporting better-than-expected same-restaurant sales and profit in the fourth quarter.

Grocer Kroger soared 9 after raising the lower-end of its full-year earnings forecast and posting a better-than-expected quarterly profit.

On the flip side, energy stocks could be pressured by a drop in oil prices as the OPEC appeared to be nearing a deal to increase production. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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