Futures higher as investors assess earnings scorecard

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[July 31, 2017]  By Sweta Singh

(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher on Monday with investors assessing Corporate America's second quarter earnings scorecard while waiting for a clutch of economic data.

* Of the 289 S&P 500 companies that reported results until Friday, 73 percent of them beat analyst expectations. This is above the 71 percent average over the past four quarters, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

* Investors have been counting on earnings to support the relatively high valuations for equities. The S&P 500 is trading at about 18 times earnings estimates for the next 12 months, above its long-term average of 15 times.

* Apple Inc <AAPL.O>, a part of the Dow, is expected to report quarterly results after market close on Tuesday and its performance may hold the sway over tech stocks this week.

* The S&P 500 slipped on Friday on negative reactions to earnings reports from high-profile names such as Amazon <AMZN.O>, Exxon <XOM.N> and Starbucks <SBUX.O> and a drop in shares of tobacco companies.

* Data vying for attention includes ISM Chicago Purchasing Managers' Index data that is expected at 9:45 a.m. ET. The reading, which is an indicator of the strength of U.S. manufacturing sector, is likely to show a slight dip in July.

* The Federal Reserve of Dallas will release its monthly

manufacturing index for July at around 10:30 a.m. ET.

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Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., July 20, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

* Even as oil prices were slightly down on Monday, July was on track to become the strongest month for the commodity this year. [O/R]

* Scripps Network was up 1.23 percent at $87.98 premarket after Discovery Communications  said it would buy the media company for $14.6 billion.

* Dynavax Technologies was up 108 percent at $19.25 in heavy premarket trading after its experimental hepatitis B vaccine received positive feedback from a panel of expert advisers to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Futures snapshot at 7:39 a.m. ET (11:39 GMT):

* S&P 500 e-minis  were up 3 points, or 0.12 percent, with 123,122 contracts changing hands.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 12.75 points, or 0.22 percent, in volume of 24,251 contracts.

* Dow e-minis were up 50 points, or 0.23 percent, with 18,665 contracts changing hands.

(Reporting by Sweta Singh and Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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