* Caterpillar surges after earnings smash Wall St est.
* United Tech, 3M, McDonald's also higher after upbeat results
* General Motors gains after reaffirming FY forecast
* Futures up: Dow 129 pts, S&P 4.75 pts, Nasdaq 13.75 pts (Adds details, changes comment, updates prices)
By Sruthi Shankar
Oct 24 (Reuters) - Wall Street's Dow Jones index was set to open at a record high on Tuesday, powered by a 7 percent surge in Caterpillar's shares.
The world's largest construction and mining equipment maker beat third-quarter profit and sales estimates and raised its full-year forecast, putting its shares on course to open at a record high.
The other Dow components that reported upbeat results include 3M, which rose 2.51 percent, and United Technologies, which gained 1 percent.
McDonald's edged up 0.65 percent after reporting sales that beat estimates at established U.S. restaurants.
"The reaction to the earnings from the Dow components is in favor," said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.
"Chances are, with this strong an opening, it will likely remain positive."
Third-quarter earnings season has been largely positive, with three quarters of the 97 S&P 500 companies that have reported results as of Monday beating profit estimates.
Wall Street retreated from all-time highs on Monday, as declines in technology and industrial stocks weighed.
Strong earnings and hopes on President Donald Trump's tax plans moving forward have helped the Dow and S&P close at record highs on all five trading days last week.
Investors are also keeping a watch on any news around the nomination of the new Federal Reserve chief. Trump told reporters on Monday he is "very, very close" to deciding who should chair the Fed after interviewing five candidates for the position.
At 8:31 a.m. ET (1231 GMT), Dow e-minis were up 129 points, or 0.56 percent, with 31,961 contracts changing hands.
S&P 500 e-minis were up 4.75 points, or 0.19 percent, with 154,713 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 13.75 points, or 0.23 percent, on volume of 27,525 contracts.
General Motors jumped 4.21 percent after the No.1 U.S. automaker reaffirmed its full-year earnings forecast and promised to slash stocks of unsold vehicles.
Whirlpool tumbled nearly 10 percent after the home appliances maker reported profit and sales below estimates and lowered full-year earnings guidance.
Eli Lilly rose 2.66 percent after the company raised full-year adjusted profit and revenue forecasts and said it was reviewing options including a sale or an initial public offering for its Elanco animal health business.
Oil rose towards $58 a barrel on Tuesday after top exporter Saudi Arabia said it was determined to end a supply glut, while prices also drew support from forecasts of a further drop in U.S. crude inventories.
Economic data includes Markit manufacturing PMI index for October at 9:45 a.m. ET. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)