April 20, 2018 / 1:11 PM / in a year

US STOCKS-Futures flat as oil prices offset boost from industrials

* GE gains in ‘relief rally’ after results top estimates

* Oil prices turn negative after Trump criticizes OPEC

* Skechers USA sinks 24 pct after profit forecast miss

* Futures: Dow off 12 pts, S&P up 1.75 pts, Nasdaq down 14 pts (Adds comments, details, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

April 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures were little changed on Friday as strong earnings from industrials General Electric and Honeywell were offset by a dip in oil prices after President Donald Trump criticized OPEC for artificially high prices.

GE posted quarterly results that topped estimates and affirmed its 2018 forecasts sending its shares up 6.7 percent in premarket trading in what one analyst called a relief rally.

Honeywell rose 2.4 percent after reporting higher-than-expected quarterly profit and lifting its full-year earnings forecast.

Oil prices reversed course to drop more than 0.5 percent after Trump criticized OPEC for output reductions that have helped raise oil prices and said the action would not be tolerated.

That weighed on Schlumberger, whose stock dropped 1.3 percent after the oilfield services provider’s profit just scraped past estimates.

Rival Halliburton also fell 1.3 percent, while oil majors Exxon and Chevron were off about half a percent.

First-quarter profit at S&P 500 companies are expected to have recorded their strongest gain in seven years. Of the 73 components that have reported through Thursday, 76.7 percent have topped profit expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

But, investors are questioning if the tax cuts are going to be as beneficial as expected and are worried rising interest rates would hit borrowing costs, said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.

“There are some lingering concerns around interest rates, and earnings, although so far are very robust, and the forward-looking statements aren’t as exciting,” Bakhos said.

At 8:47 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 12 points, or 0.05 percent, S&P 500 e-minis rose 1.75 points, or 0.06 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 14 points, or 0.21 percent.

The indexes are on track for their second week of gains in a row as earnings reports so far have been largely upbeat and concerns around Syria and trade tensions with China eased.

The benchmark S&P 500 is up 1.38 percent so far in the week.

Apple was down 0.5 percent and a host of chipmakers were also lower, following the lingering effects of Taiwan Semiconductor’s warning on Thursday of softer demand for smartphones.

Skechers USA shares tumbled 24.3 percent after the footwear maker’s quarterly profit forecast missed analysts’ estimates.

Twitter shares rose 3.3 percent after bullish brokerage actions, including MKM Partners’ upgrade to “buy”. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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