August 13, 2018 / 1:26 PM / 7 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open flat as tech gains offset Turkey worries

* Bank stocks fall on worries of exposure to Turkey

* Nielsen jumps after activist investor pushes for sale

* Futures: Dow and S&P dip 0.05 pct, Nasdaq up 0.06 pct

* Graphic: World FX rates in 2018 (Adds comment, details; Updates prices)

By Amy Caren Daniel

Aug 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures treaded water on Monday, as a meltdown in the Turkish lira that dragged on shares of big U.S. lenders was offset by an uptick in technology stocks.

The lira has tumbled more than 40 percent against the dollar this year on worries over President Tayyip Erdogan's increasing control over the economy and deteriorating relations with the United States.

Turkish credit default swaps — a hedge against financial turbulence — surged to their highest since the 2008 global financial crisis as the lira took its latest dive.

Globally bank stocks have borne the brunt of the fear in equity markets of their exposure to Turkey. Shares of the top U.S. banks also dipped, led by Wells Fargo’s 0.5 percent drop in premarket trading.

“The global financial system is so interconnected, that we tend to think of them as a group and financials come under pressure,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR in New York.

“If the Turkish lira gets worse and if this turns out to be a larger issue than it is currently, banks are in the front line to getting hurt.”

At 8:59 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 12 points, or 0.05 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 1.5 points, or 0.05 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 4.5 points, or 0.06 percent.

Helping the market was the high-growth FAANG group of stocks reversing course to post slim gains. Apple, and Google-parent Alphabet were up between 0.2 percent and 0.5 percent.

Nielsen Holdings jumped 15.6 percent after activist investor Elliott Management disclosed a stake and said would push for a sale of the TV-ratings company.

Dish Network’s shares fell 3.4 percent after MoffettNathanson downgraded the satellite TV services provider’s shares to “sell”.

Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur and Shounak Dasgupta

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