US STOCKS-Wall St set to open higher on upbeat earnings

Tuesday, October 31 2017

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open higher on upbeat earnings US STOCKS-Wall St set to open higher on upbeat earnings 18:40 hrs
* MasterCard, Kellogg up after strong results
* Under Armour slumps as profit hit by charges; drags down Nike
* Futures up: Dow 29 pts, S&P 4.75 pts, Nasdaq 24.75 pts (Adds comment and details, updates prices)
By Sruthi Shankar
Oct 31 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to climb higher on the last trading of October, helped by a string of strong earnings reports from major names Kellogg and MasterCard.
MasterCard shares were up 1 percent premarket after the company's quarterly profit beat market estimates, while Kellogg jumped 5 percent following a surprise rise in sales.
"We're still in the thick of earnings and have seen some high-profile companies driving the market a lot," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.
The earnings season has been closely tracked to justify stretched valuations and results have been largely above expectations.
With more than half the S&P 500 components reported, third-quarter earnings are estimated to have climbed 6.7 percent, up from an expectation of 5.9-percent growth at the start of October, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The Federal Open Market Committee starts its two-day meeting in Washington to discuss interest rates amid an impending announcement on the next Fed chair.
President Donald Trump is likely to pick Fed Governor Jerome Powell as the next head of the U.S. central bank on Thursday.
U.S. Treasury yields fell after the report on Monday as Powell is seen as more dovish than other contenders.
The central bank is likely to refrain from raising rates after the meeting, with economists expecting a hike only in December, according to a Reuters poll.
"The bigger news as far as economics goes is the payroll numbers on Friday."
At 8:26 a.m. ET (1226 GMT), Dow e-minis were up 29 points, or 0.12 percent, with 15,692 contracts changing hands.
S&P 500 e-minis were up 4.75 points, or 0.18 percent, with 76,810 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 24.75 points, or 0.4 percent, on volume of 19,612 contracts.
Under Armour slumped 16.7 percent after the company slashed 2017 sales and profit forecasts and reported its first year-on-year fall in revenue. Bigger rival and Dow component Nike declined 1.48 percent.
Mondelez jumped nearly 6.36 percent after the Oreo maker reported better-then-expected profit and revenue as demand for its key brands rose in Europe and Latin America and the company cut costs.
Qualcomm was down 4.10 percent after Reuters reported that Apple has designed iPhones and iPads that would drop chips supplied by Qualcomm.
(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila) SEARCH