October 30, 2019 / 12:59 PM / 8 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street set to open slightly higher; Fed decision looms

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* Fed policy decision due at 2 p.m. ET

* AMD falls after revenue forecast disappoints

* GE gains on quarterly profit beat, cash flow forecast

* Mattel surges on surprise jump in quarterly revenue

* U.S. GDP growth slows less than expected in Q3

* Futures: Dow and S&P flat, Nasdaq up 0.16% (Adds comment, updates market action)

By Arjun Panchadar

Oct 30 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open slightly higher on Wednesday as investors digested another set of earnings reports ahead of a widely expected interest rate cut by the Federal Reserve later in the day.

The central bank has already lowered borrowing costs twice this year, with a drawn out U.S.-China trade war taking a toll on the domestic economy and raising fears of a slowdown.

The Fed decision is due at 2 p.m. ET followed by a press conference from Chair Jerome Powell.

Odds of a rate cut have ballooned to over 97% from about 40% a month earlier. Hopes of a rate cut and optimism around trade talks have pushed the benchmark S&P 500 to record highs in the last two sessions.

"Certainly a rate cut is widely factored in," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida. "Most people are looking for some sort of a hint that this will likely be it for a while."

A Commerce Department report showed U.S. economic growth slowed less than expected in the third quarter as declining business investment was offset by resilient consumer spending and a rebound in exports, which could further allay financial market fears of a recession.

Nearly half of the S&P 500 companies have posted quarterly results so far, of which 77.1% have beaten profit estimates. Still, analysts are expecting a 1.9% drop in third-quarter earnings, according to Refinitiv data.

General Electric Co gained 8.6% in premarket trading after the industrial conglomerate beat quarterly profit estimates and raised its cash forecast for the year.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc dropped 0.9% after the chipmaker forecast fourth-quarter sales below expectations.

Tech heavyweights Apple Inc and Facebook Inc as well as coffee chain Starbucks Corp are due to report after markets close on Wednesday.

At 8:41 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 3 points, or 0.01%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 1.25 points, or 0.04% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 12.5 points, or 0.16%.

Among other stocks, Mattel Inc surged nearly 21% after the U.S. toymaker reported a surprise jump in quarterly revenue on higher demand for newer models of its flagship Barbie brand and dolls based on Korean pop-sensation BTS.

Johnson & Johnson rose 3% as the company said 15 new tests found no asbestos in a bottle of baby powder that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration says tested positive for trace amounts of asbestos. FDA said it stands by its finding. (Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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