By Sruthi Shankar
Oct 10 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were slightly higher on Tuesday, with investors turning their focus to corporate earnings.
* BlackRock and Delta Air Lines will kick off the third-quarter earnings season on Wednesday. The focus this week however, will be on big banks, with JPMorgan and Citigroup scheduled to report on Thursday.
* Earnings at S&P 500 companies are expected to have increased 4.8 percent last quarter, according to Thomson Reuters data, down from the double-digit growth recorded in the first two quarters of this year.
* Strong earnings, hopes of tax cuts and looser regulations have helped stocks rally this year. The S&P 500 managed to scale new highs all of last week, except Friday when weak job numbers stalled its progress.
* Wall Street also hit record levels on Monday, before retreating as gains in technology stocks failed to offset a drop in General Electric and a slide in healthcare stocks.
* Oil rose to around $56 per barrel, supported by Saudi Arabian export cuts in November and comments from OPEC and trading companies that the market is rebalancing after years of oversupply.
* Minneapolis Federal Reserve President Neel Kashkari and his Dallas counterpart, Robert Kaplan, are due to make speeches, a day before the Fed releases the minutes of its September meeting, when it decided to leave interest rates unchanged.
* Influential bond investor Bill Gross said on Monday financial markets were artificially compressed and capitalism distorted because of the Fed’s loose monetary policy.
* Among stocks, AIG slipped almost 1 percent in premarket trading after the insurer warned of higher catastrophe losses related to hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in the third quarter.
* Procter & Gamble was up 0.8 percent as its shareholders prepared to vote whether to give Trian Fund’s Nelson Peltz a board seat or not.
* Eli Lilly fell 2.35 percent after its drug to treat non-small cell lung cancer failed in a late-stage study.
* Honeywell rose nearly 1 percent after the manufacturer said it would spin off its home and ADI global distribution business as well as its transportation systems business into two publicly-traded companies.
Futures snapshot at 7:02 a.m. ET (1102 GMT):
* Dow e-minis were up 33 points, or 0.15 percent, with 14,441 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.75 points, or 0.15 percent, with 87,644 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 9.75 points, or 0.16 percent, on volume of 14,495 contracts. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)