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US STOCKS-Wall Street set to open flat amid earnings rush
February 8, 2017 / 1:50 PM / in 8 months

US STOCKS-Wall Street set to open flat amid earnings rush

* Cognizant up after board shake-up, capital return plan

* Alaska Air rises on jump in quarterly revenue

* Futures: Dow down 2 pts, S&P down 2.25 pts, Nasdaq up 1 pt (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Feb 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks looked set to open little changed as investors assessed a flood of quarterly earnings, a day after the Nasdaq closed at a record high.

More than half of the S&P 500 companies have reported results so far, with their combined earnings estimated to have risen 8.2 percent - the most in nine quarters.

Key companies scheduled to report results on Wednesday include life insurer Prudential Financial and grocer Whole Foods.

“The market is poised to take its cue from earnings, which, by the way, have been upbeat and are probably a solid reason for the market’s resilience,” Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial wrote in a note.

Oil prices fell 0.3 percent, extending losses to the third day as an increase in U.S. crude inventories and a slump in Chinese demand implied that global oil markets remain oversupplied despite OPEC-led efforts to cut output.

The dollar edged up, but gold rose to a three-month high as political uncertainty ahead of European elections kept the safe-haven asset in favor.

Dow e-minis were down 2 points, or 0.01 percent at 8:18 a.m. ET (1318 GMT), with 20,765 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 2.25 points, or 0.1 percent, with 110,623 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 1 point, or 0.02 percent, on volume of 20,365 contracts.

Among stocks, Gilead dropped 6.1 percent to $68.70 in premarket trading after the drugmaker projected disappointing sales for its hepatitis C drugs this year.

Cognizant rose 5.9 percent to $56.95 after the IT services provider named three directors to its board and announced a $3.4 billion share buyback program, bowing to pressure from activist shareholder Elliott Management.

U.S. carrier Alaska Air rose 3.2 percent to $97.16 after the company reported a 10.7 percent jump in quarterly revenue.

No key economic report is scheduled for the day. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)

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