* Futures up: Dow 40 pts, S&P 6.5 pts, Nasdaq 11.75 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
Nov 1 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were higher on Tuesday, helped by upbeat manufacturing data from China and as investors awaited the outcome of the two-day Federal Reserve meeting.
* Activity in China’s manufacturing sector expanded at a faster pace than expected in October, an official survey showed, adding to views that the world’s second-largest economy is stabilizing thanks to a construction boom.
* Oil edged up from one-month lows, following its largest one-day slide in more than five weeks, although analysts said the prospect of a more substantial price recovery was limited.
* The market is also watching the outcome of the Fed meeting, which begins later in the day. While traders doubt the Fed will raise interest rates this week, they will be looking for signs to firm up their expectations for a hike at the central bank’s December meeting.
* Chances of a rate hike in December were at around 78 percent, according to the CME Group’s FedWatch Tool.
* Wall Street ended barely changed on Monday as investors digested the latest large-scale corporate mergers as well as the most recent twist in a tumultuous U.S. presidential election.
* Hillary Clinton held a lead of 5 percentage points over Republican rival Donald Trump, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Monday, down only slightly since the FBI said last week it was reviewing new emails in its investigation of Clinton ahead of the Nov. 8 election.
* The S&P 500 index ended October with a 1.9 percent drop, the third straight month of decline for the benchmark index and its worst monthly performance since January. Still, the S&P 500 is up about 4 percent for the year.
* S&P 500 companies looked set to snap a long streak of quarterly earnings declines after most companies posted a strong set of third-quarter results. Profits are expected to have risen 3.1 percent, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
* Economic data expected on Tuesday includes the Institute for Supply Management’s index of national factory activity, which likely rose to 51.7 in October from 51.5 in the preceding month. The data is expected at 10 a.m. ET (1400 GMT).
* Dow component Pfizer was down 2.2 percent at $31 in premarket trading after the drugmaker’s quarterly profit fell below expectations.
* Valeant Pharmaceuticals’ U.S.-listed shares rose 3.9 percent to $18.55 after Bloomberg reported that the drugmaker’s former chief executive and chief financial officer were at the center of a U.S. criminal probe.
* Tenet Healthcare fell 4.6 percent to $18.80 after the hospital operator reported a lower-than-expected adjusted quarterly profit.
Futures snapshot at 6:50 a.m. ET:
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.5 points, or 0.31 percent, with 105,192 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 11.75 points, or 0.24 percent, on volume of 17,140 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were up 40 points, or 0.22 percent, with 22,748 contracts changing hands. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D’Silva)