* Two-day Fed meeting begins on Tuesday
* China says regulators will continue buying shares
* Baidu slumps after results miss expectations
* Pfizer, Ford rise after results
* Futures up: Dow 71 pts, S&P 10 pts, Nasdaq 18 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)
By Tanya Agrawal
July 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to rise at the open on Tuesday as investors refocused on corporate earnings ahead of a two-day U.S. Federal Reserve meeting which could give clues regarding the timing of a rate hike.
Wall Street sank on Monday, for the fifth straight day, after the steepest decline in Chinese stocks in eight years increased concerns about slowing growth in the country.
After Chinese stocks plunged more than 8 percent, the country’s top securities regulator said Beijing would keep buying shares to stabilize the market.
“The Chinese markets rallied a little bit today and European equities are up which is also spilling over to the U.S. market after a five-day selloff which was slightly overbought,” said Mark Luschini, chief investment strategist at Janney Montgomery Scott in Philadelphia.
The U.S. Federal Reserve begins its two-day policy meeting on Tuesday. No move on rates is expected this week, but close attention will be paid to whether Fed chair Janet Yellen signals September or December as the most likely date for a “liftoff”.
“I don’t expect any changes at the end of the Fed meeting and September still looks to be on the table for a rate increase,” Luschini said.
S&P 500 e-minis were up 9.75 points, or 0.47 percent, with 186,293 contracts traded at 8:32 a.m. ET. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 17.5 points, or 0.39 percent, on volume of 29,548 contracts while Dow e-minis were up 71 points, or 0.41 percent, with 25,339 contracts changing hands.
With second-quarter reports well under way, analysts expect overall earnings of S&P 500 companies to dip 0.3 percent, below the 3-percent decline expected at the start of July, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Such results could inflate already relatively pricey valuations. The S&P 500 is trading near 16.9 times forward 12-month earnings, above the 10-year median of 14.7 times, according to StarMine data.
Some of the big names to report on Tuesday include Twitter , Gilead and Yelp after the close.
Data expected during the day includes the index of U.S. consumer attitudes at 10 a.m. ET (1400 GMT). The index is expected to have fallen to 100.0 in July from 101.4 in June.
Baidu shares slumped 13 percent to $171 in premarket trading after China’s biggest Internet search company’s quarterly profit missed estimates.
United Parcel Service rose 2.7 percent to $97.75 after the company’s quarterly profit rose.
DuPont fell 2.1 percent to $55.55 after the chemical and crop company reduced its earnings forecast for the year.
Ford rose 2.8 percent to $14.96 after the automaker’s second-quarter earnings beat Wall Street expectations, based on the continued strength of its North American sales.
Pfizer was up 2 percent at $35 while Merck was little changed at $56.80 after the drugmakers’ adjusted profit beat estimates even as a stronger dollar hurt revenue. (Editing by Don Sebastian)