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US STOCKS-Wall St set to open flat as Thursday's events in focus
June 7, 2017 / 12:44 PM / 2 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open flat as Thursday's events in focus

4 Min Read

* Former FBI director to testify before Congress on Thursday

* Closely-fought UK election eyed

* Navistar dips after posting quarterly loss

* Futures up: Dow 4 pts, S&P 1.5 pts, Nasdaq 8 pts (Adds details, comment, updates prices)

By Tanya Agrawal

June 7 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks looked set to open little changed on Wednesday as investors stayed away from making big bets ahead of major political and economic events expected on Thursday.

General election in Britain, the European Central Bank's policy meeting and former FBI Director James Comey's testimony before a Senate panel could all weigh on investor sentiment.

Comey's first public appearance since he was fired by U.S. President Donald Trump might shed more light on a probe by the FBI into alleged Russian meddling in last year's U.S. presidential election.

His testimony could dampen already flagging momentum for Trump's legislative agenda of rolling back healthcare reforms and overhauling the tax code.

A closely-fought election in Britain is also weighing on investors' minds, with one poll showing Prime Minister Theresa May increasing her parliamentary majority, while another suggesting a neck-and-neck race with the Labour Party.

"It's the calm before the storm. We have a quiet week in terms of economic data and there's a general global unease at the moment," said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

"The impact of Comey's statement really depends on what he says, and anyway these hearings are long and dragged out. The UK elections could have an impact if there is a hung parliament and the various polls are adding a level of uncertainty."

Dow e-minis were up 4 points, or 0.02 percent, with 15,726 contracts changing hands at 8:14 a.m. ET (1214 GMT).

S&P 500 e-minis were up 1.5 points, or 0.06 percent, with 106,954 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 8 points, or 0.14 percent, on volume of 22,511 contracts.

The ECB will also hold its policy meeting on Thursday and is expected to reiterate its plan to extend the money-printing scheme at least until the end of the year.

Safe havens turned attractive, with gold steadying near seven-month highs and U.S. 10-year Treasury yields hovering near lows not seen since the November U.S. election.

Wall Street ended near session lows on Tuesday as traders shied away from risky assets ahead of major political and economic headlines.

Still, U.S. equities continue to hover near record levels, helped by a stellar first-quarter corporate earnings season.

Oil prices dipped on renewed concerns about the efficacy of OPEC-led production cuts due to rising tensions within the export group over Qatar and growing U.S. output.

Shares of Navistar International were down 9.5 percent at $27.08 in premarket trading after the truck and engine maker posted a quarterly loss.

Exact Sciences was down 4.2 percent at $35.05 after the diagnostics test maker looks to raise $250 million in a stock deal.

Keysight was up 6 percent at $42.66 after the electronic measurement equipment maker's forecast topped expectations. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

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