US STOCKS-S&P 500, Dow to open higher on upbeat corporate earnings; Fed meeting in focus

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* GE jumps as free cash flow tops estimates

* J&J up on upbeat 2021 profit outlook; vaccine data “soon”

* Futures: Dow rises 0.20%, S&P up 0.08%, Nasdaq dips 0.08% (Adds comments, details; Updates market prices)

Jan 26 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and the Dow were set to open slightly higher on Tuesday, helped by positive earnings updates from a slew of companies including General Electric and Johnson & Johnson, while the Federal Reserve kicked off its two-day policy meeting.

General Electric Co jumped about 7% premarket after the industrial conglomerate offered an upbeat outlook for its business this year and reported a surge in quarterly free cash flow.

Johnson & Johnson rose 1.7% after the drugmaker forecast 2021 profit above estimates and promised data from its widely watched coronavirus vaccine trial soon.

“So far earnings have been really strong and the market is looking forward to some of the big tech names starting to report earnings today,” said Ross Mayfield, investment strategy analyst at Baird, in Milwaukee.

Tech heavyweights Microsoft Corp and Advanced Micro Devices Inc rose about 1% each ahead of their earnings reports expected after markets close.

Few if any changes are expected in the central bank’s policy statement at the end of the meeting on Wednesday, with Fed Chair Jerome Powell likely to address inflation in his post-meeting news conference.

In a volatile trading session on Monday, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed at record levels.

With the S&P 500 trading at 22 times the 12-month forward earnings, concerns about stock bubbles on Wall Street are sparking fears of a pullback. Investors are keeping an eye out for forecasts from corporate America to justify these higher valuations.

The International Monetary Fund on Tuesday raised its forecast for global economic growth in 2021, but warned of “exceptional uncertainty” amid risks from new waves of COVID-19 infections and variants.

Investors are watching progress in stimulus talks, with U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer saying on Monday that Democrats may try to pass much of President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill using a process that would bypass a Republican filibuster and could pass with a majority vote.

“There is a little optimism that there’s a path to compromise on stimulus,” Mayfield said.

At 08:27 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were up 61 points, or 0.20% and S&P 500 E-minis were up 3 points, or 0.08%. Nasdaq 100 E-minis were down 10.25 points, or 0.08%.

Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc gained 1.8% after the drugmaker said its antibody cocktail was effective in preventing COVID-19 infection, based on interim results from a late-stage study.

3M Co, which makes N95 face masks and Post-it notes, added 1.5% after it reported a higher quarterly profit helped by an increase in demand for its healthcare products during the pandemic. (Reporting by Devik Jain and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)