US STOCKS-Wall St poised for higher open, on track for strong week

Fri Aug 15, 2014 8:46am EDT

* Indexes set for second straight week of gains

* Data due on consumer sentiment

* Monster Beverage rallies, Coca-Cola takes stake

* Futures up: Dow 46 pts, S&P 5 pts, Nasdaq 14 pts (Updates prices, adds manufacturing data)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, Aug 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Friday, with major indexes on track for a second week of gains, as traders bet there would be no immediate escalation in the tense situations in Ukraine or Iraq.

* Recent trading has taken its cue from news overseas, with investors concerned about the potential impact of any exacerbation of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine, or in violence in Iraq.

* Ukrainian border guards crossed the frontier to inspect a huge Russian aid convoy, which some had speculated could be a cover for a military invasion. The inspection comes a day after Russian President Vladimir Putin struck a softer tone in comments regarding Ukraine.

* In Iraq, Nuri al-Maliki stepped down as prime minister, paving the way for a new coalition that world and regional powers hope will be able to quash a Sunni Islamist insurgency that threatens Baghdad.

* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 5 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract, indicating a higher open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures added 46 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures gained 14 points.

* For the week, the Dow is up 1 percent, the S&P is up 1.2 percent and the Nasdaq is up 1.9 percent.

* The benchmark S&P index is 1.7 percent off a closing record hit late July. In a sign of the market's long-term strength, the index has marked more than 1,000 days since its last correction, which Wall Street defines as a drop of 10 percent from the most recent high.

* Applied Materials Inc late Thursday reported third-quarter earnings that beat expectations, boosted by demand for DRAM chips. It also forecast adjusted current-quarter profits that were largely above estimates. Shares rose 4.5 percent to $22.10 before the bell.

* Monster Beverage Corp jumped 21 percent to $87 in premarket trading after Coca-Cola Co said it was buying a 16.7 percent stake in the company for $2.15 billion.

* JD.com Inc fell 6.2 percent to $28.15 in premarket trading after the company reported a wider second-quarter loss than a year earlier, even as revenue jumped 64 percent.

* In the latest economic data, the New York Federal Reserve's report on manufacturers showed that business conditions improved in August, though at a slower rate than expected.

* The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of Consumers will be released after the market opens, and is seen rising to 82.5 from 81.8 previously.

(Editing by Bernadette Baum)

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