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US STOCKS-Wall St to open flat as investors await Trump's speech
February 28, 2017 / 2:05 PM / in 10 months

US STOCKS-Wall St to open flat as investors await Trump's speech

* Trump to speak at 9:00 p.m. ET

* 4th qtr GDP rises less than expected

* Target drops on sales warning; rival Wal-Mart dips

* Futures: Dow down 3 pts, S&P down 2 pts, Nasdaq up 0.5 pts (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Feb 28 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks looked set to open flat on Tuesday, as investors preferred to wait and watch President Donald Trump’s first speech to a joint session of Congress for clues on how he planned to implement his policies.

Trump’s promises of tax reform, infrastructure spending and simpler regulations have sparked a post-election rally that has propelled the main U.S. market indexes to record highs.

The address at 9:00 p.m. ET (0200 GMT) could touch on tax reforms, defense spending and his plans to overhaul the U.S. healthcare system.

Indicating investors’ focus on Trump’s speech, reaction to data that showed U.S. economic growth slowed in the fourth quarter was largely muted.

“If he gives minimal detail this evening, then perhaps we might get a little bit wind out of the sails on this recent equity move,” said Erik Wytenus, global investment specialist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

Trump’s comments on “big” infrastructure spending on Monday helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average mark its 12 straight record close, a feat not seen since 1987.

Dow e-minis were down 3 points, or 0.01 percent at 8:35 a.m. ET, with 18,871 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 2 points, or 0.08 percent, with 122,836 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 0.5 points, or 0.01 percent, on volume of 17,919 contracts.

Investors will also watch a host of Federal Reserve officials, including Philadelphia Fed President and policy voting member Patrick Harker, speak during the day for clues on the possibility of a March interest rate hike.

Among stocks, Target plunged 13.5 percent to $57.86 in premarket trading after the big-box retailer warned sales could continue to decline this year. Bigger rival Wal-Mart was off 0.8 percent

Perrigo dropped 11.2 percent to $75.16 after the drugmaker said it would delay filing its annual report and would review past accounting practices, specifically its historical revenue recognition of sales of its multiple sclerosis drug Tysabri.

Oil and gas producer Range Resources was down 16.4 percent at $32.27 as Raymond James cut the company’s price target. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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