Futures pull back ahead of earnings; oil stocks jump

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(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures dipped on Monday as investors returned from their Easter break and took a cautious stance at the beginning of what is expected to be the busiest week of the first-quarter earnings season.

FILE PHOTO: A street sign for Wall Street hangs in front of the New York Stock Exchange May 8, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

The S&P 500 closed slightly lower last week, ending its three-week winning streak, but hovered about 1% away from a record high hit in September on U.S.-China trade hopes and a largely upbeat earnings season.

More than a third of the S&P 500 companies, including Boeing Co, Amazon.com Inc and Facebook Inc, will report this week determining whether investors should be concerned about the start of an earnings recession or whether back-to-back quarters of negative growth can be avoided.

S&P 500 profits are expected to drop 1.7% year-over-year, according to Refinitiv data in what could be the first earnings contraction since 2016.

Halliburton Co was up 3.8% in premarket trading after the oilfield services provider reported a surge in quarterly profit driven by a recovery in demand from its international customers.

Also helping was a surge in oil prices, with the