US STOCKS-Futures flat as investors await earnings deluge

* Futures up: Dow 10 pts, S&P 0.75 pts, Nasdaq 2.5 pts

By Tanya Agrawal

July 20 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were little
changed on Thursday, a day after all three major indexes closed
at record highs helped partly by technology stocks, while
investors remained optimistic about earnings.

* The S&P 500 tech sector, which has been the best
performing sector this year, broke its previous record closing
high that had held since March 2000 in the midst of the dot-com
and Y2K tech stocks bubble.

* Microsoft, which will report results after the
market close, was up 0.6 percent in premarket trading. Other
major tech names such as Alphabet, Facebook and
Amazon are due to report results next week.

* Investors have been pouring money into the technology
sector in their search for growth areas in an otherwise
low-growth environment, looking for sectors that are not
affected by any major policy gridlock.

* Quarterly earnings will continue to be the main focus with
analysts estimating an 8.7 percent rise in second-quarter
earnings and a 4.6 percent increase in revenue for the S&P 500
companies from a year earlier, according to Thomson Reuters
I/B/E/S.

* Visa, eBay, Capital One Financial
are due to report results after the closing bell.

* The U.S. Labor Department is likely to show that initial
claims for state unemployment benefits have dropped to 245,000
for the week ended July 15 after rising to 247,000 the week
before. The data is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).

* The market will also be keeping an eye on the outcome of a
European Central Bank meeting for hints on ECB plans to wind
down its 60 billion-euro-a-month stimulus program.

* Qualcomm fell 2.1 percent after the chipmaker’s
forecast missed estimates.

* American Express fell 1.7 percent after the card
company’s profit declined 33 percent in the second quarter.

* Property and casualty insurer Travelers was down
1.2 percent after reporting a drop in quarterly profit.

* T-Mobile was up 2.9 percent after the wireless
carrier’s quarterly results topped analysts’ estimates.

Futures snapshot at 7:07 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 10 points, or 0.05 percent,
with 11,468 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.75 points, or 0.03
percent, with 86,171 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 2.5 points, or 0.04
percent, on volume of 12,062 contracts.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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