* ITW slumps after cutting FY profit forecast due to dollar
* LifePoint Health surges on $5.6 bln deal
* Dollar’s strength, trade war fears weigh on sentiment
* Tesla falls after report on supplier talks
* Futures: Dow and S&P flat, Nasdaq dips 0.22 pct
(Adds analyst comment; updates details, prices)
By Amy Caren Daniel
July 23 (Reuters) – U.S. stocks were set for a flat opening
on Monday as investors awaited quarterly reports from a clutch
of big U.S. manufacturers to gauge the impact of an escalating
trade conflict between the United States and China.
With some companies already reporting a hit from the trade
war, investors will assess the earnings of the 180 S&P 500
companies, including Ford Motor, 3M Co and Boeing
, scheduled for later this week.
A host of high-flying technology names will also be
releasing results. Google-parent Alphabet is set to
post results after markets close on Monday, while Facebook
, Twitter and Intel report later in the
Investors are also worried that the U.S.-Sino trade war
could spill over to the currency markets. President Donald Trump
has criticized the dollar’s strength, while accusing China of
manipulating the yuan, which Beijing has denied.
The dollar hit a one-year high last week, which can eat into
U.S. companies’ overseas revenue.
“We have a whole plate of issues for investors to deal with,
including currency manipulation, which is going to tie into the
trade war,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at New Vines
Capital LLC in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
“Investors are waiting for more earnings news to create a
convincing direction for the market.”
Second-quarter earnings season has been healthy so far, with
analysts’ profit growth forecast now at 22 percent, up from 20.7
percent on July 1, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
About 84 percent of the 87 S&P 500 companies that have
reported so far have topped profit expectations, compared with
the average of 75 percent over the past four quarters.
At 8:44 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 1 points, or 0
percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.25 points, or 0.01
percent, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 16.5 points, or
Investors will also keep an eye on the bond market, where
yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury note hit a
one-month high of 2.90 percent after Reuters reported that the
Bank of Japan was discussing modifying its huge easing program.
“Markets will handle that and digest it in the normal course
of business,” said Bakhos.
Among stocks, shares of Illinois Tool Works dropped
6 percent in premarket trading after the industrial company cut
its full-year profit forecast and margins forecast, blaming the
Tesla’s shares fell 3.1 percent after a report that
the electric car maker has turned to some suppliers for a refund
of previously made payments in a bid to turn a profit.
Hasbro rose 11.3 percent after the toymaker’s
quarterly revenue and profit topped analysts’ estimates.
Hospital operator LifePoint Health surged 33.7
percent on agreeing to be bought by Apollo Global Management LLC
in a deal valued at about $5.6 billion.
Halliburton’s shares fell 1.3 percent after the
oilfield services provider reported its quarterly results.
On the macro front, economic data at 10 a.m. ET is expected
to show existing home sales rose to 5.44 million units in June,
after slipping 0.4 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate
of 5.43 million units in May.
(Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj