October 19, 2016 / 12:58 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open slightly higher

(Adds details, comments, updates prices)

* Oil prices rise 1.4 pct

* Morgan Stanley up on profit, revenue beat

* Intel drops on disappointing forecast

* Futures up: Dow 41 pts, S&P 4.25 pts, Nasdaq 4.75 pts

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Oct 19 (Reuters) - Wall Street looked set to inch higher at the open on Wednesday, a day after the S&P 500 rallied to its best day of the month amid upbeat quarterly earnings.

While investors assess another flood of corporate earnings reports, they also await the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book at noon, which contains commentary on the health of the U.S. economy, and the third U.S. presidential debate at night.

Oil prices rose 1.4 percent as the dollar eased and data showed Chinese output dropped while U.S. inventories shrunk.

“This morning does seem quiet, but oil prices could be one theme that could drive markets,” said Aaron Clark, portfolio manager at GW&K Investment Management in Boston Massachusetts.

“There are also not a lot of bellwether companies reporting today that would change the narrative that much.”

Strong earnings from marquee companies such as UnitedHealth and Goldman Sachs led Wall Street to rally on Tuesday.

Dow e-minis were up 41 points, or 0.23 percent, with 20,215 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were up 4.25 points, or 0.2 percent, with 132,273 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 4.75 points, or 0.1 percent, on volume of 23,087 contracts.

The Nasdaq could come under pressure from Intel, whose shares dropped 5 percent in premarket trading after the chipmaker gave a disappointing current-quarter revenue forecast.

Morgan Stanley rose 1.4 percent after its quarterly profit and revenue beat consensus estimates, rounding off a strong quarter for big U.S. banks.

Yahoo rose 1.03 percent after reporting overnight that its third quarter profit beat estimates.

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, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

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

The Fed’s Beige Book, due at 2:00 p.m. ET (1800 GMT), will lay out commentary on the health of the economy, and could offer more insight into 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. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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