US STOCKS-Wall St to open higher on earnings boost
* GE climbs in premarket after quarterly results
* UMich data on tap
* Futures up: Dow 162 pts, S&P 22.5 pts, Nasdaq 54.25 pts (Adds data, Yellen statement, updates prices)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Oct 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set for a higher open on Friday following a batch of solid earnings reports and on hopes the Federal Reserve might slow the wind-down of its stimulus in light of recent weakness in global demand.
The benchmark S&P index is on track for its fourth straight weekly decline, its longest streak in more than three years, and is down more than 7 percent from its record high as concerns about the health of the global economy and possible spread of the Ebola virus have prompted investor selling.
Investors were looking toward corporate earnings to offset concerns about a slowdown in the global economy. General Electric shares rose 2.9 percent to $24.95 and was the most actively traded stock on the New York Stock Exchange in premarket trading after the company reported third-quarter earnings that topped analyst expectations.
"It seemed like it was almost a perfect storm of factors that led to this recent selloff," said David Lebovitz, global market strategist at J.P. Morgan Funds in New York.
"With earnings season beginning to ramp up, it is important to focus on the earnings picture because if the fundamentals continue to support equity prices - we continue to see earnings growth - that means equity prices should move higher." Continuación...