* Futures: Dow flat, S&P up 0.25 pts, Nasdaq up 1 pt
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Jan 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Tuesday as investors wait for the quarterly corporate earnings season, with Wall Street at record levels.
* Investors also await President-elect Donald Trump’s news conference on Wednesday, his first since his election win in November, for further clarity on his promised policy changes.
* Wall Street has been on a record-breaking surge since the Nov. 8 election of Trump, who has pledged tax cuts, lighter regulation and fiscal stimulus. However the rally’s momentum has slowed of late as investors now wait to see if he can deliver on those promises.
* Still, the rally has pushed Dow Jones Industrial Average to within a hair’s breadth of hitting the 20,000-points mark, helped largely by a frenetic run up in bank stocks.
* Big banks will, later this week, provide the first peek into how U.S. companies fared in the fourth quarter. JPMorgan , Bank of America and Wells Fargo reporting results on Friday.
* Overall, S&P 500 companies are expected to report a 5.8 percent rise in profit in the quarter - on track for the strongest growth in three years.
* The Nasdaq Composite closed at a record high on Monday helped by a string of buyout deals in the healthcare sector, while a drop in oil prices weighed on the Dow and the S&P 500.
* Oil prices were steady on Tuesday, but health stocks were again among the top movers premarket.
* Valeant surged 11.7 percent to $17.15 premarket after the drugmaker agreed to sell three skin care brands for $1.3 billion to L‘Oreal.
* Illumina rose 11.6 percent to $158 after the diagnostics company gave a strong quarterly forecast and launched a new product.
* Williams Cos fell 8 percent to $29.35 after it announced a series of transactions aimed at, among other thing, minimizing equity needs, reducing leverage and charting a path for distribution growth.
* Meanwhile, the dollar index pulled back for the second straight day on Tuesday as investors booked profits ahead of Trump’s conference.
* No Federal Reserve speakers or key economic data are scheduled for Tuesday.
Futures snapshot at 6:58 a.m. ET (1158 GMT):
* Dow e-minis remained unchanged, with 15,562 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.25 points, or 0.01 percent, with 85,449 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 1 point, or 0.02 percent, on volume of 13,983 contracts. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza)