US STOCKS-Wall St set to rise after strong data, before earnings
* Alcoa reports earnings after the market's close
* Proxy firm recommends Michael Dell's buyout offer
* Goldman Sachs sees year-end S&P at 1,750
* Futures up: Dow 56 pts, S&P 7 pts, Nasdaq 15.5 pts
NEW YORK, July 8 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to rise on Monday, putting the S&P 500 on pace for its third straight advance after a robust June payrolls report and before the start of quarterly earnings reports after the market's close.
The benchmark S&P index rose 1 percent on Friday after government data showed the economy created more jobs than expected, another sign of steady growth. But many traders were away, extending the Independence Day holiday on Thursday. Volume was light and trading volatile.
"Today we will get a better read, but we do have (Friday's gains) to work with, so we are already in the green on that data," said Peter Kenny, chief market strategist at Knight Capital in Jersey City, New Jersey.
"Any shift lower from here would not necessarily be a vote of no confidence or a vote of caution for the market."
Dow component Alcoa Inc, the largest U.S. aluminum producer, kicks off the earnings season after the market's close. The company is expected to report earnings of 6 cents per share on revenue of $5.83 billion.
Goldman Sachs analyst Davis Kostin said in a note to clients that rising earnings, coupled with stable margins, should lift the S&P 500 by 8 percent to Goldman's year-end target of 1,750. The index ended at 1,632 on Friday.
S&P 500 futures rose 7 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 56 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 15.5 points.
Analysts' expectations call for S&P 500 earnings growth to rise 2.9 percent in the second quarter from a year ago, while quarterly revenue is forecast to increase 1.6 percent from a year ago, according to Thomson Reuters data.
"This earnings season the big question, more than it has been in four years, is going to be top line and revenue growth - not financial engineering, not cost savings, not cost cutting. Where is the organic growth that leads to not just stabilization but a sense there is a demand component to this?" said Kenny.
Later in the week, earnings are expected from JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co.
Dell Inc climbed 2.7 percent to $13.38 in premarket trading after investment advisory firm ISS recommended shareholders vote for Chief Executive Michael Dell's $24.4 billion offer for the PC maker.
Vivendi is exploring alternative moves to extract cash from its Activision Blizzard unit after failing to sell part of its 61 percent stake in the U.S. video games business, the Financial Times reported on its website on Sunday.
Cytokinetics Inc shares slumped 11.4 percent to $11.35 before the opening bell after the company disclosed a study programming error in a developmental drug.