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US STOCKS-Wall St set for higher open; Harvey puts energy in focus
August 28, 2017 / 1:05 PM / 3 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set for higher open; Harvey puts energy in focus

* Dollar falls to 16-month low before recovering slightly

* Kite Pharma soars after $11.9 bln deal with Gilead

* Home Depot, Lowe’s up on hopes of post-Harvey gains

* Futures up: Dow 22 pts, S&P 3.75 pts, Nasdaq 1.25 pts (Adds details, comments, updates price)

By Sruthi Shankar and Tanya Agrawal

Aug 28 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open slightly higher on Monday, even as investors assessed the impact of Tropical Storm Harvey on the U.S. economy.

Stocks of refiners, pipeline operators, insurers and home improvement retailers will be in focus after Harvey was set to dump more rain on Houston on Monday, worsening flooding that has paralyzed the country’s energy hub.

Harvey has knocked out a quarter of oil production from the Gulf of Mexico, prompting fears it could overturn years of excess U.S. oil capacity and low prices.

U.S. crude futures, which earlier hit two-year highs, dipped more than 1 percent to $47.38 over concerns that refinery shutdowns could reduce demand for American crude.

“The unfortunate event from Hurricane Harvey will have some sort of impact on the numbers, down the line ... at this point, it does not appear to affect equities,” said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital.

U.S. economic growth had more than halved in the quarter after Hurricane Katrina mauled Louisiana in August 2005.

“The Wall Street population is thinner than usual, and we’ve had no fresh news of any type, whether it’s on the geopolitical front or from the administration, that has materially impacted traders’ outlook,” said Bakhos.

Dow e-minis were up 22 points, or 0.1 percent, with 21,013 contracts changing hands at 8:34 a.m. ET (1234 GMT).

S&P 500 e-minis were up 3.75 points, or 0.15 percent, with 128,391 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 10.25 points, or 0.18 percent, on volume of 30,705 contracts.

The dollar index fell to as low as 92.372, its weakest since early May 2016, before recovering a little to trade down 0.28 percent at around 92.48.

The currency has been under pressure after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen stayed silent on monetary policy in a much-anticipated speech on Friday.

Among stocks, Marathon Oil, Valero Energy and ConocoPhillips were up about 1.3 percent. Oil majors Exxon inched up 0.1 percent and Chevron rose 0.6 percent.

Home Depot was up 1.55 percent, while Lowe’s rose 1.91 percent as the two largest U.S. home improvement chains could be among the biggest beneficiaries of post-Harvey recovery.

Shares of Kite Pharmaceuticals soared 28.89 percent after Gilead Sciences agreed to buy the immunotherapy developer in an all-cash deal valued at $11.9 billion. Shares of Gilead gained 1.3 percent. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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