October 19, 2016 / 11:38 AM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Futures flat ahead of earnings reports, economic data

* Futures: Dow up 7 pts, S&P up 0.25 pts, Nasdaq down 5 pts

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Oct 19 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Wednesday, ahead of another flood of earnings reports, a Federal Reserve report on economic health and the final U.S. presidential debate.

* Through Tuesday, earnings from S&P 500 companies had largely beaten market expectations, putting them on track to post profit growth for the first time in five quarters.

* Analysts now expect earnings increased 0.2 percent in the third quarter, compared with the 0.7 percent drop they had estimated earlier.

* Morgan Stanley’s quarterly profit and revenue beat consensus estimates, rounding off a strong quarter for big U.S. banks. The bank’s shares rose 0.99 percent in premarket trading.

* Strong earnings from marquee companies on Tuesday had helped the S&P 500 notch its best day of the month.

* One spot of bother have been lackluster reports from big technology companies, including IBM and Intel. Intel was down 4.5 percent after the chipmaker gave a disappointing current-quarter revenue forecast.

* Yahoo rose 1.01 percent after reporting overnight that its third quarter profit beat estimates.

* The Fed’s Beige Book, due at 2:00 p.m. ET (1800 GMT), will lay out the health of the economy, giving investors clues on the path of future interest rate hikes.

* Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton face off in the third and final presidential debate. A Clinton presidency would be more positive for the markets because her positions are more well known than those of Trump, according to a Reuters poll.

* Pipeline operator Kinder Morgan and payments processor American Express will issue results after the close.

Futures snapshot at 7:31 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis were up 7 points, or 0.04 percent, with 16,864 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis were up 0.25 points, or 0.01 percent, with 103,556 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 5 points, or 0.1 percent, on volume of 18,843 contracts. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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