January 2, 2018 / 12:41 PM / in a year

US STOCKS-Wall Street set for positive start to 2018

* Futures up: S&P 6 pts, Dow 33 pts, Nasdaq 7.5 pts

By Sruthi Shankar

Jan 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher opening for Wall Street on Tuesday, the first trading day of 2018, signaling a continuation of the solid run from last year.

Major stock indexes closed out 2017 with their best year since 2013, lifted by a combination of strong economic growth, solid corporate earnings, low interest rates and hopes of corporate tax cuts.

At 6:57 a.m. ET (1157 GMT), Dow e-minis were up 33 points, or 0.13 percent, with 14,970 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were up 6 points, or 0.22 percent, with 104,584 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 7.5 points, or 0.12 percent, on volume of 21,804 contracts.

December payrolls report, data on manufacturing and service sectors are among leading indicators expected during the week and they will be scrutinized for signs of the economy’s health and the number of interest rate hikes this year.

Minutes of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s December meeting, when the central bank raised rates for the fourth time since the 2008 financial crisis, will be issued on Wednesday.

Potential sources of concern would be talks over funding for the government and political tensions between the United States and North Korea.

Oil prices hovered near their mid-2015 highs amid large anti-government rallies in Iran and ongoing supply cuts led by OPEC and Russia.

Gold and copper prices continued their upward march, but the greenback began the year on the back foot, with the dollar index slipping to its weakest level since September.

Wynn Resorts declined about 5 percent in premarket trading after a report showed lower-than-expected rise in gambling revenue in December.

Shares of other U.S. casino operators including Las Vegas Sands and Melco Resorts & Entertainment were down about 2 percent.

Netflix rose 1.6 percent after brokerage Macquire upgraded the company’s stock to “outperform” from “neutral”.

U.S.-listed shares of Embraer rose 6.2 percent following a newspaper report that tie-up talks between the Brazilian planemaker and Boeing did not involve a change of control. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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