August 1, 2018 / 11:49 AM / a year ago

US STOCKS-S&P futures little changed as trade woes offset Apple's boost

* Dow futures down 0.20 pct on renewed trade concerns

* S&P futures dip 0.09 pct, Nasdaq up 0.17 pct

* Apple set for record high after strong Q3 results

* Fed seen keeping rates unchanged

By Amy Caren Daniel

Aug 1 (Reuters) - S&P futures were little changed on Wednesday as Apple's stellar results helped stem concerns over the future growth of the tech sector, but fears of an escalating tariff war between the United States and China capped gains.

The Trump administration plans to propose tariffs of 25 percent, instead of the initially proposed 10 percent, on $200 billion worth of imported Chinese goods. Beijing vowed to retaliate if the United States slapped further tariffs.

The news comes a day after Wall Street gained on a report that the world's two largest economies were seeking to resume negotiations to defuse their trade war.

Shares of Apple jumped 4.0 percent premarket to $197.99, set for an all-time high, after the company posted quarterly results that far exceeded analysts targets, helped by its pricey iPhone X, and forecast revenue above expectations for the fall.

The results will help ease worries over the growth of high-flying technology companies following disappointing reports from companies such as Facebook and Netflix – part of the so-called FAANG group of stocks.

FAANG members Facebook, Netflix, and Google-parent Alphabet gained between 0.40 percent and 0.80 percent.

At 7:06 a.m. ET, the trade-sensitive Dow e-minis were down 51 points, or 0.2 percent.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 2.5 points, or 0.09 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 12 points, or 0.17 percent.

Oil prices slipped more than 1 percent, and could weigh on energy companies, pressured by an industry report that U.S. crude stockpiles rose unexpectedly and on higher OPEC production.

Of the 301 S&P 500 companies that have reported so far, 81 percent of them have topped profit estimates. If the beat rate holds, it will be the highest on record, dating back to the first quarter of 1994, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Among stocks, Akamai Technologies dropped 6.3 percent after its forecast for third-quarter revenue largely missed expectations.

Campbell Soup was up 4.2 percent in low volumes. Reuters reported activist hedge fund Third Point is meeting with some large shareholders to seek support for changes at the company.

Also in focus is the Federal Reserve, which is expected to keep interest rates unchanged in an announcement at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT) at the end of its meeting. The market expects another two rate hikes this year.

Economic data due at 8:15 a.m. ET includes the ADP National Employment Report that is expected to show that U.S. private employers added 185,000 jobs in July, compared to 177,000 jobs in the previous month. (Reporting by Amy Caren Daniel in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)

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