* J.C. Penney jumps after Citi upgrade
* Myriad Genetics falls after court motion denied
* Futures up: Dow 15 pts, S&P 1.75 pt, Nasdaq 6.5 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, March 11 U.S. stocks were set for a
flat open on Tuesday after a slight decline in the prior session
left the S&P 500 within striking distance of its recent record
high and amid investor caution as tensions in Ukraine continued.
* Investors were wary in light of events in Ukraine. A
pro-Russian force opened fire in seizing a Ukrainian military
base in Crimea on Monday and NATO announced reconnaissance
flights along its eastern frontiers as confrontation around the
Black Sea peninsula showed no sign of easing.
* On Tuesday, ousted leader Viktor Yanukovich insisted he
remained Ukraine's legitimate president and commander-in-chief,
saying he would return to Kiev and appealing to the armed forces
to defy any "criminal orders" handed down by his foes.
* S&P 500 e-mini futures rose 1.75 points and were
about 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
gained 15 points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 6.5
* Economic data expected on Tuesday includes wholesale
inventories for January at 10:00 a.m. EST (1400 GMT).
Expectations are for a 0.4 percent rise in inventories against
the prior increase of 0.3 percent.
* J.C. Penney Co Inc jumped 6.8 percent to $8.99 in
premarket trading after Citigroup raised its rating on the stock
to "buy" and boosted its price target to $11 per share.
* Myriad Genetics Inc lost 8.7 percent to $34.48
before the opening bell after the diagnostics company said a
U.S. court denied a motion that would have stopped rival Ambry
Genetics Corp from selling a similar version of Myriad's cancer
* La Jolla Pharmaceutical Co surged 65.1 percent to
$17.99 in premarket after the company said its lead experimental
drug to treat chronic kidney disease met the main goal of
improving kidney function in a mid-stage study.
* American Eagle Outfitters Inc slumped 6.2 percent
to $13.33 before the opening bell after the teen apparel
retailer reported fourth-quarter earnings and forecast earnings
for the current quarter that were short of expectations.
* Dick's Sporting Goods Inc advanced 1.7 percent to
$55.25 after the company posted fourth-quarter earnings and gave
its first-quarter outlook.
* The S&P 500 closed down 0.05 percent on Monday,
held back by soft data from China and weakness in Boeing Co
shares. The index is down less than 1 percent from both
its intraday and closing record highs.