US STOCKS-Futures flat ahead of key data; JPM kicks off earnings

* Indexes: Dow up 1 pt, S&P off 0.5 pts, Nasdaq down 0.25

By Tanya Agrawal

July 14 (Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures were little
changed on Friday as investors awaited key data for a reading on
the health of the economy while JPMorgan kicked off
second-quarter earnings.

* Analysts estimate second-quarter earnings for S&P 500
companies rose 7.8 percent from a year earlier, with financials
projected to have had the third-best profit growth among
sectors, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

* Shares of JPMorgan edged up 0.4 percent in
premarket trading after the biggest U.S. bank by assets,
reported a 13.4 percent increase in quarterly profit.

* Citigroup and Wells Fargo are due to report
later in the morning. Bank of America, Goldman Sachs
and Morgan Stanley report results next week.

* Over the last seven trading days, investors have more than
doubled the amount of cash invested in a key financial sector
fund, betting that bank earnings will be strong.

* Earnings will be closely watched to see if high valuations
are justified in the face of tepid inflation and a recent patch
of mixed economic data.

* The S&P 500 has been trading at about 18 times earnings
estimates for the next 12 months, compared with the long-term
average of 15 times.

* The U.S. Labor Department will issue its Consumer Price
Index (CPI) for June that is expected to rise 1.7 percent
annually, but lower than 1.9 percent increase reported in May.
The data is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).

* Retail sales data for June and consumer sentiment data for
July are also expected.

* Risk sentiment got a boost this week, with the Dow hitting
another record close on Thursday, following dovish comments on
interest rate hikes from Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.

* Yellen said the central bank’s further rate hikes could be
gradual, given persistently low inflation and that it would be
“quite challenging” for U.S. growth to reach a 3-percent target
set by President Donald Trump.

* Among stocks, Fiat Chrysler slipped 0.7 percent,
after the automaker recalled 1.33 million vehicles worldwide for
potential fire risks and inadvertent airbag deployments.

Futures snapshot at 7:05 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 1 points, or 0 percent, with
13,938 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were down 0.5 points, or 0.02
percent, with 73,695 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 0.25 points, or -0
percent, on volume of 14,664 contracts.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Arun Koyyur)