November 29, 2017 / 2:04 PM / 16 days ago

US STOCKS-S&P, Dow set to climb on tax bill hopes

* Revised Q3 GDP growth of 3.3 pct vs est. 3.2 pct

* Core PCE price index rises 1.4 percent year-on-year

* Chipotle co-founder Steve Ells to step down as CEO

* Futures: Dow up 72 pts, S&P up 2 pts, Nasdaq flat (Adds comment, company details; updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar and Rama Venkat Raman

Nov 29 (Reuters) - The S&P and Dow were set to open higher on Wednesday, fueled by investor optimism after more progress was made on U.S. tax legislation and hints of lighter regulation in the banking sector.

U.S. Senate Republicans on Tuesday rammed forward the bill, which corporate America is hoping will slash business tax rates, in an abrupt, partisan committee vote that set up a full vote by the Senate as soon as Thursday.

Some details remained unsettled and Democrats were left furious about a lack of discussion on a bill that could add an estimated $1.4 trillion to the $20 trillion national debt over 10 years.

“Futures are showing the S&P could be up about 2 points from where it closed yesterday. That’s probably just simply carry through from the very bullish day we had yesterday,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.

Investors seemed to shrug off concerns over a missile test by North Korea that put the entire U.S. mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.

Fed chair nominee Jerome Powell, in his Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, said the case for a December rate hike was coming together and also hinted at a lighter touch for bank regulation.

Current Fed chair Janet Yellen said, in remarks prepared for delivery to Congress on Wednesday, that a strengthening economy will warrant continued rate increases.

In what may be one of her last public appearances before leaving the Fed chair, Yellen said asset values were “high by historical standards, but overall vulnerabilities in the financial sector appear moderate.”

The second revision of third-quarter gross domestic product showed growth increased at a 3.3 annual rate from the previously reported 3 percent.

The Fed’s preferred gauge of inflation, the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index excluding food and energy, rose 1.4 percent in the third quarter, in line with the forecast by economists polled by Reuters.

“Economic data has been very strong and the economy looks as good now as it ever has,” said Frederick.

The Fed is also due to issue its Beige Book, a compendium of anecdotes on the health of the economy, at 2:00 p.m. ET.

At 8:31 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 72 points, or 0.3 percent, with 27,468 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were up 2 points, or 0.08 percent, with 163,918 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis remained unchanged, on volume of 25,599 contracts.

Chipotle Mexican Grill dipped 1.4 percent in premarket trading after the burrito chain announced its co-founder Steve Ells would step down as chief executive.

Allergan rose more than 2 percent after Morgan Stanley upgraded to “overweight” from “equal-weight”.

Shares of Autodesk slumped nearly 12 percent after the AutoCAD maker reported a revenue forecast that fell below estimates and said it expected $100 million in restructuring charges at the most, next year. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham, Bernard Orr)

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