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US STOCKS-Stimulus gridlock strains S&P 500, Dow futures

Sagarika Jaisinghani

(For a live blog on the U.S. stock market, click or type LIVE/ in a news window.)

* Futures: Dow off 0.06%, S&P flat, Nasdaq up 0.48%

By Sagarika Jaisinghani

Aug 3 (Reuters) - Futures linked to the S&P 500 and the Dow indexes were muted on Monday with lawmakers at an impasse about a coronavirus relief deal, while investors remained cautious after Fitch revised its U.S. outlook to negative, citing eroding credit strength.

Wall Street's main indexes finished July on a high note, powered by stunning quarterly reports by some of the biggest U.S. tech companies, but the gridlock on more government stimulus and faltering economic data has kept investors on edge.

After an extra $600-per-week in jobless benefits expired last week, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said on Sunday he was not optimistic about reaching an agreement soon for the next relief bill.

With jobless claims rising again, all eyes this week will be on the Labor Department's employment report this Friday, which is expected to show far fewer jobs being created in July after a record surge in the previous month.

Fitch Ratings on Friday cut its outlook on United States' triple-A rating to negative from stable, saying the future direction of U.S. fiscal policy depended in part on the November elections.

On a brighter note, an ISM survey of the manufacturing sector due later in the day is expected to show a slight pickup in July, mirroring upbeat factory activity data from Europe, the United Kingdom and China.

At 6:00 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 15 points, or 0.06%. S&P 500 e-minis were up just 2.25 points, or 0.07% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 51.75 points, or 0.48%.

Microsoft Corp rose 1.9% in premarket trading as it said it would push ahead with talks to acquire the U.S. operations of Chinese-owned TikTok after President Donald Trump reversed course on a planned ban of the short-video app.

Marathon Petroleum Corp jumped 11.4% after it sold its Speedway gas station network for $21 billion in an all-cash deal.

With the U.S. corporate earnings season now past its half-way mark, a record high percentage of companies have beaten dramatically lowered forecasts, but the second quarter is still set to be the low point for earnings this year and the biggest quarterly decline since the financial crisis.

Focus will also be on quarterly reports by meat processor Tyson Foods, satellite TV provider Dish Network , drug distributor McKesson Corp and cleaning products maker Clorox Co later in the day. (Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)