* GE profit hit by finance arm, but order demand grows
* Morgan Stanley earnings, revenue beat expectations
* China Q3 growth quickens to 7.8 pct on year
* Futures: Dow up 20 pts, S&P up 1.7 pt, Nasdaq up 13 pts
NEW YORK, Oct 18 U.S. stock index futures rose
on Friday, helped by gains in big companies like General
Electric and Morgan Stanley following their results.
* General Electric Co said third-quarter profit and
revenue fell, amid a shrinking finance business and negative
effects of foreign currency. Still, the stock rose 2.7 percent
in premarket trading as Wall Street looked beyond the slight
decline in revenue and pointed to GE's improving profit margins
and growing order demand.
* Morgan Stanley reported a 50 percent rise in
quarterly revenue as higher income from equities sales and
trading offset a drop in its fixed-income business. Shares rose
3 percent in premarket trading.
* Data showed China's economy grew 7.8 percent in the third
quarter from a year ago, its quickest pace for the year, thanks
largely to investment. Still, signs are emerging that the pickup
in activity in the world's second-biggest economy may lose some
* S&P 500 futures rose 1.7 points and were above fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 20
points and Nasdaq 100 futures added 13 points.
* The gains come after S&P 500 closed at a record high on
Thursday as investor confidence grew following a last-minute
deal by U.S. lawmakers to avoid a debt default.
* U.S. Federal Reserve Governor Daniel Tarullo and New York
Fed President William Dudley will speak at a Fed conference on
resolution of systematically important banks in Washington.
Chicago Federal Reserve Bank President Charles Evans is due to
speak on the economy and monetary policy in Chicago, while
Federal Reserve Governor Jeremy Stein will speak about managing
financial imbalances in Boston.
* European shares were up 0.3 percent, with broadly
even gains for most of the region's major bourses, leaving them
on course for a weekly gain of 1.75 percent and hovering at
their highest since mid-2008.