October 31, 2016 / 1:02 PM / 2 years ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open higher as M&As lift sentiment

* Baker Hughes rises after GE deal

* Fed meeting to begin on Tuesday

* Stocks on track for worst monthly decline since January

* Consumer spending in September rises more than expected

* Futures up: Dow 13 pts, S&P 3 pts, Nasdaq 15.75 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal

Oct 31 (Reuters) - Wall Street looked set to open higher on Monday as a string of M&A deals lifted investor sentiment and helped offset some jitters caused by the FBI’s review of newly discovered emails related to Hillary Clinton’s private server.

Dow component General Electric was up 1.13 percent at $29.55 in premarket trading after it said it would merge its oil and gas business with oilfield services provider Baker Hughes . Baker Hughes was up 8.6 percent at $65.24.

Level 3 Communications rose 7.2 percent to $57.87 after CenturyLink said it would buy the company in a deal valued at about $34 billion.

U.S. stocks fell in a volatile session on Friday after the Clinton news hit, just days ahead of the election. While Clinton had opened a recent lead over her unpredictable Republican rival Donald Trump in national polls, it had been narrowing even before the email controversy resurfaced.

An ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Sunday showed Clinton with a statistically insignificant 1-point national lead.

“This situation (Clinton email review) is going to keep the market in a very cautious trading atmosphere in this final election week,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.

S&P 500 e-minis were up 3 points, or 0.14 percent, with 135,678 contracts traded at 8:33 a.m. ET (1233 GMT). Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 15.75 points, or 0.33 percent, on volume of 31,561 contracts. Dow e-minis were up 13 points, or 0.07 percent, with 26,673 contracts changing hands.

The market is also watching the outcome of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, which begins on Tuesday. The Fed is unlikely to make a move this week, as it is too close to the election, with many market participants instead expecting a hike in December.

“The Fed is likely to stand pat on rates this close to the election, especially following Friday’s political developments,” said Cardillo.

With uncertainty surrounding the outcome of the election and the Fed raising rates by the year-end, the U.S. market is headed for its worst monthly decline since January.

Data on Monday showed U.S. consumer spending rose more than expected in September. The Commerce Department said that consumer spending, which accounts for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity, increased 0.5 percent after a downwardly revised 0.1 percent drop in August.

Investors are also assessing the latest earnings reports with the hope the quarter snaps a year-long earnings recession.

As of Friday, nearly 73 percent of the S&P 500 companies that reported have topped Wall Street expectations, with growth for the quarter now expected to be 3 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

TeamHealth Holdings jumped 15.6 percent to $42.55 after Blackstone said it would buy the company in a deal valued at about $6.1 billion.

Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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