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US STOCKS-Futures flat as first-quarter earnings season approaches

* Futures up: Dow 1 pt, S&P 0.75 pts, Nasdaq 0.5 pts

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

April 10 U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Monday as investors awaited earnings from big banks later in the week, kicking off the first-quarter earnings season.

* JPMorgan, Citigroup and Wells Fargo are scheduled to report quarterly earnings on Thursday and could give a glimpse into the U.S. banking industry after a strong finish in the fourth quarter.

* Investors are keenly watching the quarterly results to justify lofty market valuations following a post-election rally, sparked off by bets that President Donald Trump would introduce pro-growth policies.

* Earnings of S&P 500 companies are estimated to have risen 10.1 percent in the first three months of the year, the most since the fourth-quarter of 2014. The index is currently trading at 17.4 times forward earnings estimates, above its long-term average of 15, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

* Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen is scheduled to speak in Michigan after markets close. Investors will be looking to clues on the central bank's plans to trim its $4.5 trillion balance sheet after recent comments from Fed officials.

* Wall Street closed slightly lower on Friday after a disappointing jobs report hit already weakened sentiment following a U.S. missile strike on Syria.

* Early premarket movers included generic drugmaker Akorn , up 12 percent at $33.30 after confirming that it was in talks to be bought by German healthcare group Fresenius.

* Swift Transportation rose 11 percent to $22.20 after announcing a merger with Knight Transportation.

Futures snapshot at 7:04 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 1 point, or 0 percent, with 16,961 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.75 points, or 0.03 percent, with 107,808 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 0.5 points, or 0.01 percent, on volume of 17,005 contracts.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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