Wall St. set to open lower on lack of fresh catalysts

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(Reuters) – Wall Street was set to open lower on Thursday in the absence of fresh catalysts and rising skepticism over a Republican tax overhaul plan that is expected to boost economic growth and create more jobs.

A U.S. Senate tax-cut bill, differing from one already in the House of Representatives, was expected to be unveiled on Thursday, complicating a tax overhaul push.

The S&P 500 has risen about 21 percent since the election of President Donald Trump a year ago, partly on the back of his promises to cut taxes and other business-friendly measures.

However, Republicans are yet to score a major legislative win since Trump took office in January, even though the party controls both chambers of Congress as well as the White House.

Investors were also concerned about the potential fallout from Democrat wins in regional U.S. elections this week – a signal for next year’s mid-term Congressional elections for Trump.

“With concerns rising over possible delays in the U.S tax reforms, equity bears could make an unwelcome appearance, consequently exposing global stocks to downside risks,” said Lukman Otunuga, research analyst at FXTM.

“Investors should also keep in mind that geopolitical tensions and political risk in the background, have the ability spark risk aversion.”

Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 100 points, or 0.43 percent, with 53,896 contracts changing hands at 8:26 a.m. ET (1226 GMT).

S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 14 points, or 0.54 percent, with 336,295 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 48.75 points, or 0.77 percent, on volume of 59,599 contracts.

Market will also keep track of another bunch of earnings, with Walt Disney (DIS.N), News Corp (NWSA.O), Nvidia (NVDA.O) and Nordstrom (JWN.N) set to report results after the closing bell.

With third-quarter earning season winding down, earnings for the quarter are expected to have climbed 8 percent, compared with expectations of a 5.9 percent rise at the start of October, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Data showed weekly jobless claims, rose to 239,000 from 229,000 in the week ended Oct. 28. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast claims rising to 231,000 in the latest week.

Wall Street closed at a record high on Wednesday as videogame makers rallied and Apple’s market value climbed above $900 billion.

Shares of Roku (ROKU.O) soared 31.1 percent in premarket trading after the television streaming device maker’s quarterly results and guidance beat expectations.

Perrigo (PRGO.N) rose 13.8 percent as the generic drugmaker raised its adjusted profit forecast.

Kohl’s (KSS.N) was down 9.7 percent after the department store operator’s quarterly profit missed estimates, while upmarket rival Macy’s (M.N) inched down 0.4 percent after reporting a bigger-than-expected drop in third-quarter comparable sales.

Coty (COTY.N) rose 10.4 percent after the beauty products maker’s quarterly profit beat Wall Street estimates.

Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Arun Koyyur

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