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US STOCKS-Wall St set to open lower after strong jobs data
December 2, 2016 / 1:47 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open lower after strong jobs data

* 178,000 jobs added in November vs est. 175,000

* Unemployment rate slips to more than 9-yr low

* Traders see 90.4 pct chance of rate hike in Dec

* Futures down: Dow 18 pts, S&P 3.5 pts, Nasdaq 9.25 pts (Adds details, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Dec 2 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open lower on Friday after a strong jobs report strengthened the case for an interest rate hike in the coming weeks.

A report from the U.S. Labor Department showed 178,000 jobs were added in the public and private sectors in November, compared with economists’ expectation of 175,000. Unemployment rate dropped to a more than nine-year low of 4.6 percent.

Strength in the labor market and improving inflation are two factors that influence the Federal Reserve’s decision on raising interest rates. The central banks’ policy-setting committee meets on Dec. 13-14.

The Fed has been preparing the markets for a rate hike in the backdrop of strong economic data, including gains in consumer spending, inflation and manufacturing.

President-elect Donald Trump’s promise of fiscal stimulus may contribute to a rise in inflation, bolstering the prospects for higher rates.

Traders have currently priced in a 90.4 percent chance of a hike this month, according to Thomson Reuters data.

The Dow ended with a record close on Thursday, riding on gains in banks and oil stocks. However, the S&P 500 recorded two straight days of losses for the first time since the vote, pointing to a fizzling post-election rally.

Oil prices fell 1.5 percent, pausing a two-day rally that had sent prices to a more than 16-month high.

Dow e-minis were down 18 points, or 0.09 percent at 8:31 a.m. ET (1331 GMT), with 23,840 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 3.5 points, or 0.16 percent, with 150,032 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 9.25 points, or 0.2 percent, on volume of 28,425 contracts.

Starbucks fell 3.13 percent to $56.68 in premarket trading after the coffee chain operator said Howard Schultz would step down as chief executive officer.

Ulta Salon rose 6.24 percent to $273.46 after the company reported quarterly revenue above analysts’ expectations. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)

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