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US STOCKS-Wall St set for flat open, Goldman likely to boost financials
July 16, 2013 / 1:15 PM / in 4 years

US STOCKS-Wall St set for flat open, Goldman likely to boost financials

* Goldman Sachs profit doubles, helped by bond trading

* Coca-Cola second-quarter profit falls

* Futures: S&P up 0.2 pt, Dow up 2 pts, Nasdaq up 4 pts

By Angela Moon and Alison Griswold

NEW YORK, July 16 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set for a flat open on Tuesday as profit-taking after the S&P 500’s eight-day advance and investor caution about monetary policy outweighed Goldman Sachs’ doubling of its quarterly profit.

Data showed consumer prices rose more than expected in June as gasoline prices jumped, but underlying inflation pressure remained benign, pointing to lukewarm domestic demand.

The data, along with a housing report later in the day, comes one day before Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke testifies before the House Financial Services Committee. Investors about monetary policy and the economy.

Investors will be looking for clues about when the Fed might begin to reduce its bond-buying program, which has helped stocks to reach record highs.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s shares rose 0.7 percent to $163.80 in premarket trade after the firm reported quarterly profit that doubled as the bank made more money trading bonds before an interest-rate spike hit markets in June.

“It’s again a tribute to the nimble trading in their fixed income group and that’s what they’re always known for,” said Jack De Gan, chief investment officer at Harbor Advisory Corp in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.

“This is a much more impressive number for financial markets and it’s going to be tough for the other investment banks to measure up to that.”

On Monday, Citigroup’s strong earnings helped push the S&P 500 to post its longest winning streak since mid-January.

“We’ve had eight straight up days in the S&P, so we could have a down day (today) just for trading purposes,” De Gan said.

Johnson & Johnson also reported higher-than-expected second-quarter earnings as strong sales of prescription drugs and medical devices more than offset anemic growth of its consumer products. The stock rose 1 percent in premarket trade to $91.26.

In other earnings, Coca-Cola Co, a Dow component, reported quarterly earnings fell below the company’s expectations. Coke’s stock fell 3 percent to $39.80 in premarket trading.

S&P 500 futures were down 0.8 point, and slightly below 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 fell 2 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures added 2.25 points.

Online broker Charles Schwab Corp posted a 7 percent fall in quarterly profit as growth in net new assets slowed and expenses rose.

On Monday, the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 finished at record closing highs for the third consecutive session. The Nasdaq scored its highest close since September 2000.

European shares edged down on Tuesday, slipping back after rallying from 2013 lows over the last two weeks, with Telecom Italia falling due to uncertainty over the company’s plans to spin off its fixed-line network.

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