US STOCKS-Wall St set to open lower on tepid earnings, policy gridlock

* BofA, Goldman Sachs slip after quarterly results

* Harley-Davidson falls after cutting shipments forecast

* Netflix jumps as subscribers rise more than expected

* Futures down: Dow 20 pts, S&P 2.75 pts, Nasdaq 10.25 pts
(Adds details, comment, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal

July 18 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks looked set to open slightly
lower on Tuesday, weighed down by earnings reports from some big
names and concerns over President Donald Trump’s ability to push
through his pro-growth policies.

Shares of Bank of America slipped 0.3 percent, while
Goldman Sachs was down 1.2 percent after reporting
quarterly results.

Last week, shares of JPMorgan, Wells Fargo
and Citigroup had taken a beating after their quarterly
results and forecasts failed to excite investors.

Harley-Davidson slumped 9.6 percent after the
motorcycle maker cut its 2017 shipments forecast.

The healthcare sector will be under scrutiny after the
Republican healthcare bill to replace Obamacare sank in the
Senate, with news that two Republican senators would not support
the latest version of the bill.

The healthcare bill failure spelled uncertainty for
President Donald Trump’s agenda of tax reform and an
infrastructure overhaul, leaving the president without any major
legislative accomplishments six months into his tenure.

News on the healthcare bill sent the U.S. dollar to a
10-month low against a basket of major currencies.

“Investor sentiment is pessimistic this morning,” said Naeem
Aslam, chief market analyst at Think Markets UK.

“The fiasco of the healthcare bill means that the tax
reforms or the so called infrastructure spending plan are in
jeopardy.”

UnitedHealth Group rose 0.6 percent after the
largest U.S. health insurer’s quarterly profit beat expectations
and it raised its earnings forecast.

Johnson and Johnson rose 1 percent after the pharma
company raised its profit forecast.

Dow e-minis were down 20 points, or 0.09 percent,
with 21,986 contracts changing hands at 8:34 a.m. ET (1234 GMT).

S&P 500 e-minis were down 2.75 points, or 0.11
percent, with 138,683 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 10.25 points, or 0.18
percent, on volume of 24,755 contracts.

As the earnings season gets under way, the market will be
keeping a close eye on corporate results to see if the high
valuations are justified in the face of mixed economic data,
tepid inflation and policy gridlock in Washington.

Analysts’ are estimating an 8.2 percent rise in
second-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 companies from a year
earlier.

This follows a robust first quarter when U.S. companies
posted their best earnings since 2011, according to Thomson
Reuters I/B/E/S.

The S&P 500 has been trading at about 18 times earnings
estimates for the next 12 months, compared with the long-term
average of 15 times.

IBM, United Continental Holdings, CSX
and Navient are among the companies scheduled
to report results after the bell.

Netflix jumped 9 percent after the
streaming-television pioneer’s added more subscribers than
expected in the second quarter.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Arun Koyyur)


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