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8 months ago
US STOCKS-Wall St set to open lower on interest rate outlook
December 15, 2016 / 1:55 PM / 8 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open lower on interest rate outlook

* Fed sees three rate hikes in 2017

* Yahoo falls after disclosing largest security breach in history

* Nov consumer price index up 0.2 pct vs 0.4 pct gain in October

* Futures down: Dow 1 pt, S&P 2 pts, Nasdaq 6.75 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal

Dec 15 (Reuters) - Wall Street looked set to open slightly lower on Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve increased interest rates for the first time this year and signaled a faster pace of hikes in 2017.

The Fed sees three rate hikes next year instead of the two foreseen as of September, partly as a result of the changes anticipated under President-elect Donald Trump.

Fed Chair Janet Yellen also cited an improving labor market and evidence of faster inflation for its 2017 rate outlook.

The Fed's decision to raise rates comes as Trump, who will be sworn in next month, is expected to cut taxes and boost spending on infrastructure.

"Investors, who were expecting the final weeks of trading before Christmas to conclude on a quiet note, received a shocker on Wednesday, following the firmly hawkish FOMC meeting," said Lukman Otunuga, a research analyst with FXTM.

"While there still remains a cloud of uncertainty over how economic policy may change under Trump's presidency, the same rising optimism towards Trump boosting U.S. growth through tax cuts and infrastructure spending may have played a key part in the changes to the Fed's projections."

Since the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election, stocks have rallied on bets that Trump's expected business friendly policies will stimulate the economy.

The Dow is about 1 percent away from hitting the 20,000 mark and the S&P has risen 5.3 percent since the election.

Dow e-minis were down 1 points, or 0.01 percent, with 6,818 contracts changing hands at 8:34 a.m. ET (1334 GMT).

S&P 500 e-minis were down 2 points, or 0.09 percent, with 97,096 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 6.75 points, or 0.14 percent, on volume of 4,881 contracts.

U.S. stocks fell the most in two months on Wednesday after the central bank's hawkish stance took some investors by surprise and crude oil tumbled.

U.S. consumer prices moderated in November, but the underlying trend continued to point to firming inflation pressures. The Labor Department said its Consumer Price Index rose 0.2 percent last month. The index had advanced 0.4 percent in October.

Another report showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell last week as the labor market continued to tighten.

Mondelez was up 4.2 percent at $44.65 in premarket trading after reports that Kraft Heinz may buy the Cadbury chocolate maker. Kraft was up 1.3 percent at $85.43.

Eli Lilly was up 3.8 percent at $70.24 after the drugmaker forecast 2017 earnings and revenue above analysts' estimates.

Yahoo fell 3.2 percent to $39.60 after the largest security breach in history. The company said data from more than 1 billion accounts was compromised in August 2013. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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