US STOCKS-Wall St to open slightly higher on earnings from Dow stocks

Tue Jul 23, 2013 8:59am EDT

* China signals support for growth, boosts global shares

* Dow components Travelers, DuPont shares up following results

* Apple due to report after the bell

* UPS profit falls as global customers use cheaper shipping

* Futures up: Dow 38 pts, S&P 2.5 pts, Nasdaq 7 pts

By Angela Moon

NEW YORK, July 23 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set for a slightly higher open on Tuesday, helped by solid earnings from blue-chips DuPont and Travelers and by China's efforts to avoid a hard landing for its slowing economy.

With earnings season in full swing, Apple Inc is due to report after the closing bell. Apple shares were up 0.3 percent at $427.59 in premarket trade.

U.S. insurer Travelers Cos Inc posted an 85 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by lower disaster losses. The stock jumped 1.4 percent to $86.60 in premarket trade.

Chemical maker DuPont Co, also a Dow component, said it was looking to sell or spin off its performance chemicals unit to insulate itself from flagging sales of paint pigments that have weighed on profits. The stock was up 4.2 percent at $59.55 in premarket trade.

"We are seeing a couple of dynamics taking place right now, pushing the market to all-time highs. We have a strong start to the earnings season, the market likes round numbers and we happen to be just a short breath away from 1,700 (on the S&P 500)," said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at Lek Securities in New York.

"The stock market is seen as the only real game in town where you can catch returns."

S&P 500 futures rose 2.5 points and were slightly above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 38 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 7 points.

Among decliners, Netflix Inc shares fell 4 percent to $251.25 in premarket trade, a day after the online-entertainment firm reported that its show "Arrested Development" lured new subscribers in the second quarter but not enough to impress investors.

United Parcel Service Inc posted a smaller quarterly profit as customers chose slower, cheaper shipping services, especially on international routes.

The S&P 500 closed at a third straight all-time high on Monday, with other major indexes also gaining, despite disappointing results from McDonald's. The S&P 500 is up 19 percent so far this year.

China must deepen reforms to address a slew of challenges confronting it, President Xi Jinping said in comments published on Tuesday that emphasize the government's determination to restructure the slowing economy. China shares listed in Hong Kong posted their biggest rise in nearly seven months on Tuesday.

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