October 2, 2018 / 1:13 PM / 2 months ago

REFILE-US STOCKS-Wall Street set to fall at open as Italy worries drag

(Corrects to add dropped word “Street” in headline)

* Wall St to follow world stocks lower

* U.S. Steel slips after downgrade

* Fed Chair Jerome Powell speaks at 12:45 p.m. ET

* U.S. auto sales numbers for September awaited

* Futures dip: Dow 0.21 pct, S&P 0.14 pct, Nasdaq 0.26 pct

By Medha Singh

Oct 2 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open lower on Tuesday after anti-euro comments from an Italian lawmaker reignited investor worries over a euro zone breakup, while relief from a reworked NAFTA deal faded.

Italy would enjoy more favorable economic conditions outside of the euro zone, said Claudio Borghi, a eurosceptic who chairs the budget committee of the lower house of parliament.

Borghi later clarified but his comments pushed Italy’s bond yields to multi-year highs, sparked a selloff in Italian banks and pressured world stock markets.

“Clearly a headwind coming into the day was European markets being soft... early trade is more driven by what’s going on in the overall markets,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR in New York.

Big U.S. lenders including Morgan Stanley, Bank of America and Citigroup were trading down between 0.3 percent and 0.58 percent before the bell.

“Banks and bluechip stocks in general are off a bit and that’s a little bit of a pressure point as we head into early trade,” Hogan said.

At 8:36 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 55 points, or 0.21 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were down 4 points, or 0.14 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 20 points, or 0.26 percent.

General Electric rose 2.1 percent, continuing gains from the previous session when the company named Larry Culp chief executive, with RBC saying investor confidence in Culp “should put a floor in the stock.”

Shares of Ford gained 0.1 percent while General Motors dipped 0.6 percent ahead of U.S. auto sales numbers for September, due later in the day

U.S. Steel Corp fell 2.2 percent after Deutsche Bank downgraded the stock on concerns around free cash flow generation and operational inconsistencies.

Investors will keep an eye on Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s speech on “The Outlook for Employment and Inflation” at 12:45 p.m. ET at a meeting in Boston. (Reporting by Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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