US STOCKS-Wall Street set for flat open after selloff

Tue Apr 8, 2014 9:19am EDT

* Eli Lilly ordered to pay $3 bln in damages in Actos case

* Alcoa earnings due after the close

* Futures: Dow off 5 pts, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 7 pts (Updates prices)

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, April 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were poised for a flat open on Tuesday, in the wake of a three-session selloff, as investors look to the start of corporate earnings season.

* The S&P 500 suffered its biggest three-day drop in two months and the Nasdaq posted its worst three-day decline since November 2011 on Monday as investors bid down Internet stocks and rotated into defensive names.

* The recent slump has pushed the Dow, Nasdaq and S&P 500 into negative territory for the year.

* Earnings season gets under way this week, with results due from companies including Alcoa Inc after the close, retailer Bed, Bath & Beyond on Wednesday, while financials JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co close out the week with results on Friday.

* S&P 500 companies' first-quarter earnings are projected to have increased just 1.1 percent from a year ago, Thomson Reuters data showed. The forecast is down sharply from the start of the year, when profit growth was estimated at 6.5 percent.

* A lackluster first-quarter earnings season hurt by a harsh winter could spark a pullback, some analysts said, with investors expressing optimism for the second quarter as weather improves.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures were flat and roughly even with 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 lost 5 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 7 points.

* A U.S. jury ordered Takeda Pharmaceutical Co Ltd to pay $6 billion in punitive damages and Eli Lilly and Co to pay $3 billion in a case claiming that cancer risks to the diabetes drug Actos were concealed, the plaintiffs' lawyer said. Eli Lily shares lost 1.1 percent to $57.99 before the opening bell.

* Gigamon Inc slumped 22.2 percent to $19.85 in premarket trade. The maker of network traffic management software, estimated lower-than-expected first-quarter revenue.

* Alkermes Plc said its experimental drug to treat the symptoms of schizophrenia met the main goal in a late-stage study. Its shares gained 8.2 percent to $44.46 in premarket.

* Citigroup Inc edged up 0.02 percent to $46.56 in premarket. The bank said it would pay $1.12 billion in cash to settle legacy securities and other claims and incur a related charge of $100 million in the first quarter. (Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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