US STOCKS-Wall St set to open at one-month high on strong earnings

GLOBAL MARKETS-Stocks near four-week highs, supported by corporate earnings
April 18, 2018
The close: TSX jumps to four-week high as resource shares rally
April 18, 2018

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open at one-month high on strong earnings

* Morgan Stanley profit shines on trading boost

* IBM set to drag on Dow as profit margin misses estimates

* Oil jump helps energy stocks

* Futures up: Dow 0.34 pct, S&P 0.36 pct, Nasdaq 0.30 pct (Adds comment, details, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

April 18 (Reuters) – U.S. stock indexes were set to open on Wednesday at levels not seen in about a month after the latest batch of earnings including Morgan Stanley added to optimism about the U.S. corporate reporting season.

The Wall Street bank rose 1.5 percent in premarket trading after it reported a 40 percent jump in quarterly profit, driven by its trading business.

Arch rival Goldman Sachs, which also reported a trading revenue surge on Tuesday, was up 0.3 percent.

At 8:38 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 84 points, or 0.34 percent. S&P 500 e-minis rose 9.75 points, or 0.36 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis gained 20.5 points, or 0.30 percent.

“Earnings continue to progress on the positive side and commodities are also on the rise, that should give the markets another boost,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.

Stocks have gained solidly in the past two days after strong results from industry bellwethers as well as positive economic data helped investors turn attention away from geopolitical and trade tensions.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that Mike Pompeo, the current CIA director and his nominee to be the top U.S. diplomat, met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un last week.

“If they should be able to strike some sort of an agreement … that would remove one of the many geopolitical fears,” said Cardillo.

Oil prices jumped more than 1.5 percent, lifted by a reported decline in U.S. crude inventories and the risk of supply disruptions. Exxon and Chevron were up more than 0.5 percent.

S&P 500 companies are expected to post an 18.6 percent rise in profits in the first quarter, the biggest increase in seven years, according to Thomson Reuters data.

United Airlines rose 3.2 percent after the U.S. carrier reported a rise in profit, helped by higher fares.

CSX Corp was up 5.2 percent after the railroad operator topped profit estimates, benefiting from a cost-cutting drive.

IBM, a Dow component, fell 5.6 percent after the technology company reported profit margins that fell short of Wall Street expectations.

The Federal Reserve will issue its so-called Beige Book, a compendium of anecdotes on the health of the economy, at 2:00 pm ET. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Shounak Dasgupta)