October 9, 2017 / 11:31 AM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Futures gain ahead of big bank earnings

* Futures up: Dow 39 pts, S&P 4 pts, Nasdaq 11.75 pts

By Sruthi Shankar

Oct 9 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open higher on Monday, stock index futures showed, as investors turned their focus to earnings from big banks later in the week.

* Weak jobs numbers halted an eight-day winning streak for the S&P 500 on Friday but the Nasdaq ended up for a ninth straight day.

* European stock markets were broadly higher, helped by an easing of concern over calls for independence of Spain's prosperous northern region Catalonia. Tokyo also gained around 0.3 percent.

* Chalking up employment losses last month to the temporary hit of a severe hurricane season and reiterating expectations that inflation will strengthen, Federal Reserve policymakers on Friday signaled they still expected U.S. interest-rates to rise gradually.

* Traders now see an 86.7 percent chance of a rate hike in December, according to CME Group's Fedwatch tool.

* Progress made in terms of tax overhaul, with Congress moving closer to agreement on a budget resolution, have also helped stocks.

* Two of the biggest U.S. banks JPMorgan Chase and Citi kick off the quarterly results season proper on Thursday.

* Earnings are expected to have increased 4.9 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data. That would be down from double-digit growth in the first two quarters of this year.

* Investors looked largely to be shrugging off the latest exchange of views between Washington and North Korea.

* North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un said his nuclear weapons were a "powerful deterrent" that guaranteed its sovereignty, state media reported on Sunday, hours after U.S. President Donald Trump said "only one thing will work" in dealing with the isolated country.

* Among stocks, Tesla shares were down 1.31 percent in premarket hours after Chief Executive Elon Musk said the company had pushed back the unveiling of the big rig truck until mid-November.

* Viacom slipped 2.39 percent after Citigroup downgraded the media company's stock to "sell" and slashed its price target by $9 to $24.

* Medtronic fell 1.8 percent after the medical device maker said its second quarter 2018 earnings would take a hit due to hurricane Maria.

Futures snapshot at 6:56 a.m. ET (1056 GMT):

* Dow e-minis were up 39 points, or 0.17 percent, with 12,627 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 4 points, or 0.16 percent, with 78,532 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 11.75 points, or 0.19 percent, on volume of 14,954 contracts. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham)

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