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US STOCKS-Wall St set to open near record highs on oil rally
February 23, 2017 / 2:02 PM / 9 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open near record highs on oil rally

* Mnuchin says expects significant tax reform

* Kohl’s rises on profit beat

* L Brands drops on weak Victoria’s Secret sales

* Futures up: Dow 30 pts, S&P 2.75 pts, Nasdaq 4.5 pts (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Feb 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks looked set to open near record highs on Thursday as a rally in oil prices added to rising optimism about U.S. President Donald Trump’s proposed tax reforms.

Oil prices rose 1.8 percent on Thursday reports of a drop in U.S. inventories.

U.S. equities have been on a record-setting rally in the past two weeks after Trump said his administration would make a major tax announcement in the coming weeks.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC on Thursday that he expected a “very significant” tax reform to be enacted by Congress’ August recess.

“There is an incremental buy on the market everyday,” said Drew Forman, co-head of sales and trading equity at Macro Risk Advisors in New York.

“However, people are getting complacent ... and we’re going to need to see some results from the President and the government on some of these policies before we see a huge breakout.”

The S&P 500 has not moved more than 1 percent in either direction since Dec. 7.

Dow e-minis were up 30 points, or 0.14 percent, at 8:34 a.m. ET (1334 GMT), with 20,121 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were up 2.75 points, or 0.12 percent, with 126,679 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 4.5 points, or 0.08 percent, on volume of 20,096 contracts.

A Labor Department report showed the number of Americans applying for unemployment benefit rose slightly more than expected last week, but the four-week average of claims fell to its lowest level since 1973, pointing to strengthening labor market conditions.

Shares of Kohl’s rose 2.44 percent to $42.80 in premarket trading after the department store operator’s profit beat expectations.

Carter’s jumped 9.5 percent after the company agreed to buy baby and parenting products maker Skip Hop for $140 million.

L Brands dropped 13 percent to $50.61 after reporting weakening demand at its Victoria’s Secret business.

Nvidia slipped 4.4 percent to $105.88 after Instinet downgraded the chipmaker’s stock to “reduce” from “buy”. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D‘Souza and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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