US STOCKS-Wall St flat as oil gains offset Intel's drag

Last Updated: Wed, Oct 19, 2016 19:40 hrs

* Oil rise, Halliburton results help energy stocks

* Intel drags on indexes after disappointing forecast

* Morgan Stanley results leads financials higher

* Dow up 0.15 pct, S&P up 0.01 pct, Nasdaq down 0.15 pct (Updates to open)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Oct 19 (Reuters) - Wall Street was little changed on Wednesday as gains in energy and financial stocks were offset by a drop in technology shares, led by Intel.

Intel fell 4.7 percent, the biggest drag on all three indexes, after the chipmaker's disappointing current-quarter revenue forecast. The news pulled the Philadelphia SE Semiconductor index 1.1 percent lower.

Oil prices rose 1.3 percent as the dollar eased and data showed Chinese output dropped while U.S. inventories shrunk.

The energy sector's 1.01 percent rise was the most among the 11 major S&P 500 indexes, also boosted by Halliburton's 3 percent jump following its surprise quarterly profit.

Morgan Stanley rose 1.7 percent after its quarterly profit and revenue beat consensus estimates, rounding off a strong quarter for big U.S. banks. Fellow investment bank Goldman Sachs was up 1.3 percent.

At 9:43 a.m. ET (1343 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 27.46 points, or 0.15 percent, at 18,189.4.

The S&P 500 was up 0.22 points, or 0.01 percent, at 2,139.82 and the Nasdaq Composite was down 7.73 points, or 0.15 percent, at 5,236.10.

Five of the 11 major S&P sectors were lower. Consumer staples fell the most, by 0.77 percent. The sector was dragged down by tobacco company Reynolds American, which fell 4 percent as its results missed estimates.

Through Tuesday, earnings from S&P 500 companies had largely beaten market expectations, putting them on track to post profit growth for the first time in five quarters. Analysts now estimate earnings increased 0.2 percent in the third quarter, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

While investors assess the flood of corporate earnings reports, they also await the Federal Reserve's Beige Book at noon, which will contain commentary on economic health.

The third and final U.S. presidential debate between Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton starts later in the evening. A Clinton presidency would be more positive for the markets as her positions are more well known than those of Trump, according to a Reuters poll.

Among earnings, pipeline operator Kinder Morgan and payments processor American Express will issue results after the close.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,643 to 965. On the Nasdaq, 1,140 issues rose and 1,091 fell.

The S&P 500 index showed five new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 16 new highs and 21 new lows. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

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