US futures flat, but Netflix jumps

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WallStreet1234 REUTERS The US bourse is set to open higher as European leaders get ready to meet.

New York - US stock index futures were flat on Tuesday as investors found few reasons to continue buying after a five-day rally in the S&P 500, though Netflix jumped following its earnings results.

* Netflix Inc surged 7.9 percent to $376 in premarket trading as results on Monday showed strong subscriber growth, a sign that the trading favourite still had room to grow despite concerns over its elevated valuation.

The move helped boost Nasdaq futures.

* Dow components Travelers Cos Inc and United Technologies Corp on Tuesday reported first-quarter results, with United Tech's profit ahead of consensus.

* United Tech was the latest prominent name to outperform this earnings season, continuing a trend that last week helped lift the S&P 500 to its best week since July.

* Dozens of S&P 500 components are slated to report this week, and of the 87 that had reported thus far, 62.1 percent have topped earnings expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data, compared with the 66 percent average over the past four quarters.

On the revenue side, 51.7 percent have exceeded forecasts, below the 54 percent average over the past four quarters.

* S&P 500 companies' first-quarter earnings are projected to have increased 0.8 percent from a year ago, Thomson Reuters data showed.

The forecast is down sharply from the start of the year, when profit growth was estimated at 6.5 percent.

* S&P 500 futures rose 0.6 point and were slightly under 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 added 11 points and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 9.75 points.

* European shares were sharply higher on the day, rising 1.2 percent on the back of deal activity in the pharmaceutical space, including Novartis both swapping assets with GlaxoSmithKline and selling a unit to Eli Lilly & Co.

US shares of Glaxo rose 4.6 percent to $55.54 in premarket trading.

* Rail stocks may be in focus following the latest delay in the Keystone XL Pipeline approval, which effectively cements the view that US freight rail haulers are here to stay as big players in the oil-shipping business.

* General Motors Co filed a motion in a US bankruptcy court to enforce a bar on lawsuits related to ignition defects in cars sold before its 2009 bankruptcy as it fights a class action lawsuit that seeks to set aside the restriction. - Reuters

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