* U.Mich consumer sentiment survey, key indicators on tap
* Gap climbs after earnings
* Futures: Dow off 1 pts, S&P off 0.6 pt, Nasdaq up 6.5 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Aug 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes pointed to a
flat open on Friday, after enjoying its biggest gain in two
weeks Thursday, as investors awaited the release of reports on
consumer mindset and a gauge of leading economic indicators.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan surveys' August
preliminary consumer sentiment index is due at 9:55 a.m. ET
(1355 GMT). Economists in a Reuters survey expect a reading of
72.4 compared with 72.3 in the final July report.
Shortly afterwards, at 10:00 a.m. ET (1400 GMT), the
Conference Board releases its report on July leading economic
indicators. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a 0.2
percent rise compared with a 0.3 percent drop in June.
"Leading indicators, that is going to be an interesting
number - if that pulls back, I am going to start worrying," said
Harry Clark, CEO of Clark Capital Management Group in
Trading volume, which has been meager over the past several
sessions during a seasonally slow period, could be even lighter
headed into the weekend.
"It will be a very slow day and it may just drift higher,
today's news is not negative at all so the market is just
sitting there," said Clark.
The S&P rallied for six days through Aug. 10, its longest
run of gains since December 2010, boosted by the anticipation of
more actions from central banks in the United States and euro
zone to stimulate their respective economies in September.
Since Aug. 10, the S&P 500 had been little changed until
Thursday, when comments from German Chancellor Angela Merkel -
which reinforced investor expectations for action - lifted the
benchmark index by its biggest percentage gain since August 3 to
a four-month peak.
S&P 500 futures fell 0.6 points and were slightly
below fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking
into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of
the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added
1 point and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 6.5 points.
Gap advanced 2.2 percent to $35.10 in premarket
trade after the clothing retailer posted a higher quarterly
profit and raised its full-year forecast.
Ann Inc surged 15.9 percent to $32.60 after the
parent of Ann Taylor and LOFT stores reported
higher-than-expected quarterly profit for the eighth time in a
Foot Locker Inc gained 4.1 percent to $35.90 in
premarket after the athletic footwear retailer posted
second-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street estimates.
Marvell Technology Group Ltd dropped 9.3 percent to
$11.14 before the bell after the chipmaker posted second-quarter
earnings and said current-quarter results may miss expectations.
Network storage equipment maker Brocade Communication
Systems Inc's third-quarter results beat Wall Street
estimates, boosted by a 13 percent rise in storage equipment
sales, and the company said its chief executive intends to
resign. Its shares advanced 2.7 percent to $5.78.
J.M. Smucker Co, the maker of Folgers coffee and Jif
peanut butter, posted better-than-expected quarterly results as
price cuts helped demand.
Thomson Reuters data shows that of the 468 companies in the
S&P 500 that have reported earnings through Thursday morning, 68
percent beat analysts' expectations, about the same rate as over
the past four quarters.