November 28, 2017 / 3:07 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street edges higher; Powell hearing, tax bill in focus

* Buffalo Wild Wings gains after Roark Capital bid

* Emerson higher after pulling Rockwell Automation offer

* Oil down for a second day ahead of OPEC decision

* Indexes up: Dow 0.25 pct, S&P 0.17 pct, Nasdaq 0.13 pct (Updates to open)

By Sruthi Shankar and Rama Venkat Raman

Nov 28 (Reuters) - The S&P and the Dow hit records at the open on Tuesday, led by gains in technology stocks, with investors also focusing on Federal Reserve chair nominee Jerome Powell’s confirmation hearing and progress on the U.S. tax bill.

The Senate Banking Committee will hold a hearing shortly to confirm Powell’s nomination as head of the U.S. central bank.

In prepared remarks, Powell defended the Fed’s use of broad crisis-fighting powers, placing himself as an extension of the line followed by current Chair Janet Yellen and her predecessor Ben Bernanke.

Analysts see little impact on the stock market.

“Some of his comments were already published and he is basically going to follow the present monetary policy,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.

“The tax code is really what’s on the minds of the investors right now,” Cardillo said.

The U.S. tax plan faces potential opposition from two Republican lawmakers who could prevent the sweeping legislation from reaching the Senate floor.

President Donald Trump was due to lobby Republicans at their weekly policy luncheon in the U.S. Capitol, with the Senate poised for a possible vote on the bill as early as Thursday.

At 9:37 a.m. ET (1437 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 59.87 points, or 0.25 percent, at 23,640.65, the S&P 500 was up 4.3 points, or 0.17 percent, at 2,605.72 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 8.96 points, or 0.13 percent, at 6,887.48.

Microsoft rose 0.8 percent, leading the gains in technology stocks.

Oil suffered losses for a second day on uncertainty over the outcome of a key OPEC meeting this week, but the S&P energy index was higher after losing about 1 percent on Monday.

Shares of Emerson Electric were up 2 percent after the company withdrew its offer for Rockwell Automation.

Buffalo Wild Wings jumped 6.4 percent as Roark Capital Group, owner of restaurant chain Arby’s, announced it had agreed to buy the company for about $2.4 billion.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners on the NYSE by 1,502 to 986. On the Nasdaq, 1,317 issues rose and 1,010 fell.

Reporting by Sruthi Shankar and Rama Venkat Raman in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr

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