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US STOCKS-Wall St set to open higher even as N.Korea tensions weigh
September 6, 2017 / 1:04 PM / 20 days ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open higher even as N.Korea tensions weigh

* Hurricane Irma possibly en route to Florida

* Federal Reserve issues Beige Book at 02:00 p.m. E.T.

* U.S. trade deficit rises less than expected

* Futures up: Dow 40 pts, S&P 3.75 pts, Nasdaq 15.75 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

Sept 6 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open slightly higher on Wednesday, but investors are expected to remain cautious amid tensions on the Korean peninsula and concerns that the Category 5 Hurricane Irma could hit the United States.

North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test yet on Sunday, triggering a dramatic escalation of its stand-off with the United States that drove investors towards safe-haven assets.

“I think it (North Korea) is still going to be a factor with a bit of nervousness out there. We also have another hurricane heading towards Florida,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida. “We’re already seeing water flying off the shelves at grocery stores.”

Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century, churned across northern Caribbean islands with a potentially catastrophic mix of fierce winds, surf and rain, en route to a possible Florida landfall at the weekend.

Gold rose to near one-year highs, while the bond market rallied, with the 10-year yield hitting a near 10-month low on Tuesday.

At 8:31 a.m. ET (1231 GMT), Dow e-minis were up 40 points, or 0.18 percent, with 35,317 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.75 points, or 0.15 percent, with 180,018 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 15.75 points, or 0.27 percent, on volume of 42,921 contracts.

The Federal Reserve issues its Beige Book, a round-up of anecdotes on the health of the economy, at 02:00 p.m. E.T.

Three Fed policymakers on Tuesday expressed doubts about further rate hikes, with one influential policymaker calling for a delay in raising U.S. interest rates until the Fed is confident inflation will rebound.

Data showed the U.S. trade deficit increased less than expected in July as both exports and imports fell, suggesting that trade could contribute to economic growth in the third quarter.

The Commerce Department said the trade gap rose 0.3 percent to $43.7 billion, compared with an increase to $44.6 billion forecast by economists polled by Reuters.

A report from the Institute for Supply Management at 10:00 a.m. ET on index of nonmanufacturing activity for August.

Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise were up 1.92 percent in premarket trading after the company reported a surprise rise in quarterly revenue.

Newell Brands was off about 6.6 percent after the company slashed its profit forecast for 2017 as Harvey hit its resin suppliers.

Sarepta Therapeutics was up 15.51 percent after its drug to treat patients with a form of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy met the main goal in an early-stage study. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)

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