US stock futures inch up as earnings head for higher gear

FAN Editor

Oct 16 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures pointed to a slightly positive start for Wall Street on Monday as investors pondered a solid initial round of third quarter company earnings and awaited a further flood of results this week.

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* Netflix shares were up more than 1 percent ahead of earnings due after the market closes, having hit a life high on Friday.

* 55 S&P 500 companies are expected to report this week. Out of the 32 that have reported so far, 84.4 percent have beat earnings expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data.

* However, reactions have been muted to bank results so far. Wall Street investment banks Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley report on Tuesday.

* World stocks and commodities got a boost from upbeat Chinese data on Monday, while U.S. oilfutures jumped to a near six-month high as escalating tensions between the Iraqi government and Kurdish forces threatened supply.

* Wall Street indexes ended higher on Friday, with the S&P recording gains for the fifth straight week after upbeat retail sales data for September.

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* However, inflation data on Friday showed September consumer prices came in below expectations.

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* Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said on Sunday that the U.S economy remains strong and the strength of the labor market calls for continued gradual increases in interest rates despite subdued inflation.

* Groupon jumped 4.32 percent after brokerage Cowen and Co upgraded the daily deals website operator’s stock to “market perform”.

* Gold prices passed the psychological barrier of $1,300, as ongoing tensions over Iran and North Korea and recent weak U.S. economic data spurred demand.

* Fed’s Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari is scheduled to speak later in the day.

Futures snapshot at 7:04 a.m. ET (1104 GMT:

* Dow e-minis were up 13 points, or 0.06 percent, with 12,257 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.25 points, or 0.01 percent, with 70,352 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 6 points, or 0.1 percent, on volume of 15,960 contracts. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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