Stock futures rise with focus on earnings

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[February 07, 2017]  By Yashaswini Swamynathan

(Reuters) -
U.S. stock index futures were higher on Tuesday as investors look for a steer from a rush of quarterly earnings reports.

General Motors <GM.N> and Dow component Walt Disney <DIS.N> are among the large-cap companies that are scheduled to report their results.

After a post-election rally that drove U.S. equities to record highs, investors are assessing fourth-quarter earnings to see if market valuations are justified.

Investors are also keeping a close eye on comments from President Donald Trump and his administration, especially before a U.S. federal appeals court hears arguments over whether to restore Trump's temporary travel ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries.

About 100 companies, including big tech names such as Apple <AAPL.O>, Google parent Alphabet <GOOGL.O> and Microsoft <MSFT.O>, joined a legal brief opposing the ban, arguing that it would give companies strong incentives to move jobs outside the United States.

Markets have traded in a tight range amid uncertainty over Trump's policies. The S&P 500 index <.SPX> has not moved more than 1 percent in either direction since two months.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> and the Nasdaq Composite <.IXIC> closed little changed on Monday, while the S&P fell slightly as losses in energy companies weighed.

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A street sign for Wall Street is seen outside the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in Manhattan, New York City, U.S. December 28, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

Data for Tuesday includes a report that is expected to show trade deficit remained little changed at $45 billion in December. The report is due at 8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT).

Shares of Biogen <BIIB.O> rose 1.03 percent to $267.65 in premarket trading after Citigroup upgraded the drugmaker's stocks to "buy" from "neutral".

Centene <CNC.N> was up 0.96 percent at $64.24 after the health insurer reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit.

Handbag maker Michael Kors <KORS.N> dropped 6 percent to $38.80 following a full-year revenue forecast cut.

Futures snapshot at 6:52 a.m. ET:

Dow e-minis <1YMc1> were up 69 points, or 0.35 percent, with 17,777 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis <ESc1> were up 6.75 points, or 0.3 percent, with 91,724 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis <NQc1> were up 13.75 points, or 0.27 percent, on volume of 18,423 contracts.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru)

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