August 1, 2019 / 1:07 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open flat as focus shifts to mixed earnings

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* Verizon rises as Q2 profit beats estimates

* Kellogg jumps on quarterly profit, sales beat

* Qualcomm slides on weak rev, profit forecast

* Futures: Dow up 0.05%, S&P 500 flat, Nasdaq up 0.08% (Updates prices, adds background)

By Shreyashi Sanyal

Aug 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open flat on Thursday, with focus shifting back to a mixed bag of corporate earnings after a cautious message from the Federal Reserve on interest rates drove some of the biggest falls since May in the previous session.

The U.S. central bank reduced borrowing costs by a widely-expected quarter of a percentage point on Wednesday, but Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signaled a series of further cuts was unlikely, leading to a sharp selloff on the S&P 500 and Dow.

Despite that, all three major indexes posted their second straight monthly gains in July, closing the book on a month in which the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq reached fresh record highs.

“It was always going to be a tough job for the Fed to be as dovish as stock markets hoped. The 25 bps cut was a non-event,” said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, in a note.

“With the Fed out of the way there is a chance that we can all get back to focusing on earnings and how earnings season continues to paint a broadly positive picture.”

Almost three weeks through earnings, reports so far have been strong. Of the 296 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported second-quarter earnings, 74.7% have beaten Street estimates for profit, according to Refinitiv data.

Shares of Verizon Communications Inc rose 1.3% in premarket trading after wireless carrier beat quarterly profit estimates as it added far more net new phone subscribers who pay a monthly bill than expected.

At 8:38 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 13 points, or 0.05%. S&P 500 e-minis remained unchanged and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 6.5 points, or 0.08%.

Kellogg Co jumped 4.2% after the company beat analysts’ expectations for quarterly sales and profit, driven by higher demand for its snacks, including Pringles and Pop-Tarts, in North America.

But not all reports were upbeat.

Qualcomm Inc plunged 6.7% after the chipmaker’s quarterly revenue and profit forecast fell short of Wall Street targets.

Concho Resources Inc slid 16% after the shale producer missed second-quarter profit expectations and forecast weak current-quarter output.

On the macro front, the Institute for Supply Management’s index of national factory activity, due at 10 a.m. EDT, will likely show a reading of 52.0 in July from 51.7 in June.

This will follow IHS Markit Manufacturing Purchasing Managers’ Indexes final reading for the month July, due 9:45 a.m. EDT.

Factory activity contracted across Asia and Europe in July, fuelling worries a prolonged U.S.-China trade war and an economic slowdown could tilt the world towards recession, which central banks would have to fight with depleted ammunition.

Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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