* Futures up: Dow 17 pts, S&P 4 pts, Nasdaq 6 pts
By Rodrigo Campos
NEW YORK Aug 8 U.S. stocks were set to rise
Friday, with futures reversing earlier losses, as optimism over
the Ukraine crisis offset concerns over the implications of U.S.
air strikes on Iraq.
Futures had slumped overnight after President Barack Obama
authorized relief supplies and air strikes on Iraq to protect
fleeing Christians and minorities threatened with extermination
by Islamic State fighters. The news stoked fears of another
drawn-out conflict in the region.
Market participants said a rebound in U.S. stock index
futures Friday was kindled by a report which said Russia was
aiming to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine.
A global gauge of equities was negative but pared losses and
spot gold dipped after earlier hitting a three-week high.
The yield in the 10-year Treasury note dipped below
2.35 percent for the first time since June 2013 before trading
at 2.3915 - still a 14-month low.
Markets had been on tenterhooks, with the S&P 500 set to
close a second week of losses, after Russia imposed bans on the
import of Western foods in retaliation for sanctions over
Moscow's support of Ukrainian separatists. A de-escalation of
that conflict would remove a hurdle for the fragile economic
recovery in Europe.
"The Russian economy is in recession to begin with and they
have a very symbiotic relationship with Europe," said Art
Hogan, chief equity strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New
"If they take the rational decision to de-escalate, that
would be a positive," he said, adding that technical support and
shorts covering positions could have also contributed to the
rebound in futures.
S&P 500 e-mini futures were up 4 points and fair
value - a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract
- indicated a slightly higher open. Dow Jones industrial average
e-mini futures rose 17 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini
futures added 6 points.
McDonald's shares fell 0.6 percent in premarket
trading after it posted a drop in global sales for July.
U.S.-traded Tekmira Pharma shares jumped 15.2
percent premarket after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration
modified its clinical hold status on Tekmira's experimental
Ebola treatment to enable its potential use in humans infected
with the virus. The Ebola epidemic now constitutes an
international health risk, the World Health Organization said.
Zynga shares fell 9.9 percent premarket after it
cut its 2014 forecast and said it had delayed several games
including a revamped version of "Zynga Poker."
Nvidia Corp shares rose 4.2 percent premarket after
the graphics chipmaker posted higher fiscal second-quarter
earnings and gave a forecast for current-quarter revenues that
exceeded Wall Street's estimates.
(Reporting by Rodrigo Campos; Editing by Bernadette Baum)