Futures higher as investors weigh bank earnings

Jan 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures pointed to a higher open for Wall Street on Wednesday as investors assessed earnings of Bank of America and U.S. Bancorp.

Shares of the second-largest U.S. bank rose 0.6 percent after the lender reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, helped by higher interest rates.

U.S. Bancorp also gained from higher rates, which helped the regional lender's profit top analysts' estimates.

Goldman Sachs, which has flagged a $5 billion charge in the quarter related to the new tax law, rose 0.8 percent ahead of its results.

At 6:54 a.m. ET (1154 GMT), Dow e-minis were up 141 points, or 0.55 percent, with 34,268 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were up 9.5 points, or 0.34 percent, with 158,007 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 24.25 points, or 0.36 percent, on volume of 38,655 contracts.

Wall Street slipped after a strong start on Tuesday as weakness in GE and lower oil and commodity prices dragged.

The Dow hit the 26,000-mark for the first time but closed more than 200 points below that level.

The CBOE Volatility index also perked up on Tuesday, rising to a more than one-month high to 12.41.

Apple shares fell 0.33 percent after Longbow Research downgraded the company's stock to "neutral", saying it forecasts only a "good, not great iPhone cycle".

Ford slipped 3.2 percent after the automaker reported full-year 2017 profit below estimates and provided a downbeat forecast.

IBM shares rose 1.8 percent after Barclays analysts upgraded its stock to "overweight" and hiked price target by $59 to $192.

Data on industrial production, due at 9:15 a.m. ET, is expected to show a gain of 0.4 percent in December from a 0.2 percent rise in the month before.

Investors will also parse the Federal Reserve's Beige Book, a compendium of anecdotes on the health of the economy drawn from the central bank's sources, expected at 2:00 p.m. ET.

Cleveland Fed President Loretta Mester, Chicago Fed Chief Charles Evans and their Dallas counterpart Robert Kaplan are scheduled to speak later in the day.

(Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)