US STOCKS-Wall Street climbs at open on solid earnings
* GE climbs after quarterly results
* Indexes up: Dow 0.97 pct, S&P 0.9 pct, Nasdaq 0.89 pct (Adds data, Yellen statement, updates prices)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Oct 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were higher at the open on Friday, following a batch of solid earnings reports that eased concerns about the impact of weak global demand on U.S. growth and businesses.
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 amid concerns about the health of the global economy and possible spread of the Ebola virus.
Investors eyeing corporate earnings for positive trading incentives were rewarded. General Electric shares rose 2.8 percent to $24.94 after the company reported third-quarter earnings that topped analyst expectations, pushing the S&P industrial sector up 1.8 percent.
"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."
Energy shares, were up 2 percent as the best performing of the 10 major S&P sectors, led by a 7.2 percent rise in Schlumberger to $87.16 after the world's largest oilfield services company posted a third-quarter profit that beat estimates for at least the ninth consecutive quarter. Continuación...