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US STOCKS-Futures mixed after choppy week for Wall Street
November 17, 2017 / 2:10 PM / a month ago

US STOCKS-Futures mixed after choppy week for Wall Street

* Abercrombie, GAP rise after results

* Twenty-First Century Fox jumps on signs of takeover interest

* Oil rises but on track for weekly losses

* Futures: Dow down 28 pts, S&P off 1 pt, Nasdaq up 4 pts (Adds comment, details, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

Nov 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stock futures pointed to slight losses for the S&P 500 and the Dow on Friday, a day after both indexes posted their biggest percentage gains in more than two months on the back of strong earnings and progress on U.S. tax cuts.

With third-quarter earnings season coming to a close and no major economic data expected, investors are focused on Republicans’ efforts to pass tax cuts after a barren first year for the Trump administration in Congress.

The House of Representatives took important steps on Thursday toward the biggest U.S. tax-code overhaul since the 1980s, approving a broad package of cuts, while a Senate panel advanced its own version of the legislation.

Matt Lloyd, chief investment strategist at Advisors Asset Management in Monument, Colorado, said any new bets were likely to be muted as volumes fell ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday next week.

“Investors are going to get net neutral on their position,” he said.

“The biggest driver is going to be what happens with the Senate and the House. Can they work on something that will get to the President, that’s where everyone is going to be focusing on at this point.”

Oil prices rose but remained on course for their first week of losses in six, as concerns grew over Russia’s support for an extension of the crude output cuts that have bolstered prices in recent months.

Shares of Twenty-First Century Fox jumped 7 percent after sources said that Comcast and Verizon had expressed interest in acquiring a significant part of the company’s assets.

Abercrombie & Fitch jumped 20 percent and Gap rose about 7 percent after the apparel retailers reported results that beat estimates. Those, along with a surge for sports retailers including Foot Locker Inc, Shoe Carnival Inc and Hibbett Sports Inc were the latest signs of a revival of fortunes in a battered U.S. retail sector.

A Commerce Department report showed U.S. homebuilding jumped to a one-year high in October. Housing starts surged 13.7 percent to 1.29 million units. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast housing starts rising to a pace of 1.185 million units.

But adding to pressure on the dollar was a Wall Street Journal report that investigators probing possible Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election had subpoenaed President Trump’s election campaign for documents.

At 8:29 a.m. (1229 GMT), Dow e-minis were down 28 points, or 0.12 percent, with 26,142 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 1 point, or 0.04 percent, with 183,250 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 4 points, or 0.06 percent, on volume of 34,038 contracts.

Thursday’s other big stocks story after the bell was the surprise launch of a $200,000 sports car by Elon Musk’s electric vehicle maker Tesla. Its shares rose 3.85 percent.

Data analytics software maker Splunk gained 14 percent after a strong set of results and forecasts. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)

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