April 17, 2018 / 1:13 PM / 4 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open higher on strong Netflix, Goldman earnings

* Goldman Sachs Q1 profit boosted by trading revenue

* Surge in subscription helps Netflix results

* Futures up: Dow 0.61 pct, S&P 0.51 pct, Nasdaq 0.51 pct (Adds comments, details, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

April 17 (Reuters) - Wall Street was on track to open higher on Tuesday as strong earnings from Netflix, Goldman Sachs and health majors boosted optimism over what is expected to be the strongest earnings season in seven years.

Netflix shares surged 6.5 percent premarket after the video-streaming pioneer smashed analysts’ quarterly subscriber estimates, helped by a blitz of original content.

The stock, the best performer on the S&P 500 this year, was the top gainer among S&P and Nasdaq 100 components in premarket trading.

Goldman Sachs rose 0.85 percent after the investment bank’s quarterly profit blew past Wall Street’s expectations, powered by a surge in trading revenue and higher fees from debt and equity underwriting.

The other big banks’ shares also gained, with Morgan Stanley , set to report on Wednesday, leading with a 1.5 percent increase.

“The reports were pretty good and should help the overall market,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth in New York.

“As you go forward, financials seem to be one of the logical places to be invested in, especially in a rising interest rate environment. It’s the matter of markets finally having attention drawn away from the political (news).”

Analysts expect profit at the S&P 500 companies to rise 18.6 percent in the first quarter, the biggest increase in seven years, according to Thomson Reuters data.

At 8:31 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 216 points, or 0.88 percent, S&P 500 e-minis were up 16.25 points, or 0.61 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 42.5 points, or 0.63 percent.

UnitedHealth rose 2.3 percent after the largest U.S. health insurer raised its earnings forecast and posted results that beat Wall Street estimates.

J&J rose 0.75 percent after reporting a better-than-expected profit and raising its full-year sales forecast, helped by growing demand for its cancer drugs.

The earnings season has helped take away some focus from geopolitical and trade concerns, which have roiled the markets in the recent months.

Still, U.S.-China trade issues continue to simmer. China moved to slap a hefty temporary deposit on imports of U.S. sorghum in a preliminary antidumping ruling.

Shares of Archer Daniel, a top seller of U.S. sorghum into China, was down 0.9 percent.

A U.S.-led attack on Syria over the weekend has so far not prompted any military retaliation from Russia, easing fears over the conflict escalating. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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