Wall Street set to open near record highs on oil rally

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    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. (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.”

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    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”.

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