* General Electric gains after Q4 earnings
* Airline stocks down after United Continental’s report
* Mnuchin’s remark sparks declines in dollar
* Futures up: Dow 98 pts, S&P 9 pts, Nasdaq 20.5 pts (Adds comment, details; updates prices)
By Sruthi Shankar
Jan 24 (Reuters) - The S&P and Dow were on track for a record open on Wednesday following a string of earnings from industrial giants including General Electric and United Technologies.
GE shares rose 4 percent premarket after its quarterly results contained no new sizeable charges, even as the conglomerate reported a $10 billion loss on previously-announced charges for insurance losses and taxes.
“It came in slightly better than what the Street was fearing,” said Robert Pavlik, chief investment strategist at SlateStone Wealth in New York.
“The initial reaction was ‘Ok, it wasn’t that bad, let me close out my short’. Earnings call may attract some investors, but I think they have a long road ahead of them.”
Shares of the Dow component had taken a beating in the past week, falling more than 3 percent this year, compared with a 6 percent rise for the blue-chip index.
United Technologies dipped 0.9 percent and General Dynamics dropped 2.05 percent following their results.
At 8:37 a.m. ET (1337 GMT), Dow e-minis were up 98 points, or 0.37 percent, with 27,874 contracts changing hands.
S&P 500 e-minis were up 9 points, or 0.32 percent, with 146,561 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 20.5 points, or 0.29 percent, on volume of 35,731 contracts.
The dollar hit fresh lows on Wednesday after U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said at the World Economic Forum that he welcomed the currency’s weakness and on a strong start to the euro zone economy.
Worries about a protectionist stance have added to the dollar’s woes after U.S. President Donald Trump slapped steep tariffs on imported washing machines and solar panels on Monday.
The dollar’s latest decline follows prolonged weakness in 2017.
“I think it helps the stock market. When you have a pick-up in global economic activity with leading suppliers here in the United States whose sales are being helped along by a weaker dollar, you probably be buying from companies here,” said Pavlik.
Earnings growth for S&P 500 companies for the fourth-quarter is expected at 12.4 percent through Tuesday morning, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Of the 68 companies in the benchmark index that have posted results, 76.5 percent have topped Wall Street expectations.
Among decliners, Qualcomm slipped 1 percent after European antitrust regulators slapped a $1.23 billion charge on the chipmaker for paying Apple to use only Qualcomm chips.
United Continental tumbled 7 percent after the airline said it plans to increase capacity, likely threatening its profit margin. American Airlines fell 5.7 percent while Delta Air Lines dropped 5 percent.
Data on existing home sales for December is expected at 10:00 a.m. ET. The data is likely to show home sales fell to 5.7 million units from 5.81 million units in November.
Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila