August 3, 2018 / 11:40 AM / 13 days ago

US STOCKS-Futures inch higher ahead of U.S. jobs report

* Futures up: Dow 0.16 pct, S&P 0.14 pct, Nasdaq 0.18 pct

By Amy Caren Daniel

Aug 3 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose slightly on Friday ahead of the July jobs report, while the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China weighed on investor sentiment.

China is willing to resolve differences with Washington on an equal footing, the Chinese government’s top diplomat said after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but added they did not address their trade war too specifically.

President Donald Trump proposed 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports, from a previously proposed 10 percent duty and demanded that Beijing make a host of concessions to avoid the new duties.

The Labor Department data, expected at 8:30 a.m. ET, is likely to show U.S. companies maintained a strong pace of hiring in July, suggesting that the robust economy was helping the labor market to weather trade tensions.

Economists polled by Reuters expect 190,000 jobs were created in July and average hourly earnings rose 0.3 percent after rising 0.2 percent in June.

Apple, which was down marginally in premarket trading, became the first $1 trillion publicly listed U.S. company and lifted the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 on Thursday.

Other members of the so-called FAANG group were higher. Facebook, Amazon.com, Google’s parent Alphabet and Netflix were trading up between 0.2 percent and 0.7 percent.

At 7:21 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 41 points, or 0.16 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 4 points, or 0.14 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 13.25 points, or 0.18 percent.

Earnings till date have been robust. Of the 380 companies, part of the S&P 500, that have reported earnings, 79.7 percent have topped analysts’ expectations, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

GoPro rose 3 percent after the action-camera maker forecast current-quarter revenue above estimates.

Dish jumped 5.9 percent after the satellite TV services provider reported a better-than-expected quarterly profit.

Shares of Symantec declined 11.2 percent after the antivirus software maker lowered its yearly revenue forecast.

Pfizer dipped 0.38 percent after being sued by Allergan over opioid costs. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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