June 14, 2018 / 1:05 PM / 3 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to open higher after ECB decision, retail sales data

* U.S. retail sales in May beat expectations

* Fox gains after Comcast offers $65 bln to fend off Disney

* Mylan drops after FDA sees minor deficiencies in Advair generic

* Futures up: Dow 89 pts, S&P 8 pts, Nasdaq 23 pts (Adds comment, details, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

June 14 (Reuters) - Wall Street was on track to open higher on Thursday after strong retail sales data, while investors assessed the European Central Bank’s move to end its stimulus program and the Federal Reserve’s guidance on monetary policy.

The Fed raised its benchmark interest rates by 25 basis points for the second time this year on Wednesday and hinted at two more hikes by the end of 2018.

Traders are pricing in a 53 percent chance that the Fed will raise rates for a fourth time this year in December, according to the CME group’s Fedwatch tool.

The ECB took its biggest step in dismantling crisis-era stimulus by the close of the year, but the central bank also said that interest rates would stay at record lows at least through the summer of 2019.

“There’s some concern that we’re going to see a lot tighter policy. But both the Fed and the ECB, especially, are very accommodative at this point and it doesn’t look like it’s going to derail the expansion that we’re seeing anytime soon,” said Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Data on Thursday showed U.S. retail sales increased more than expected in May, the latest indication of an acceleration in economic growth in the second quarter.

At 8:45 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 89 points, or 0.35 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 8 points, or 0.29 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 23 points, or 0.32 percent.

Trade tensions simmered, with President Donald Trump due to unveil tariffs targeting $50 billion of Chinese goods on Friday. An official said Trump would meet with his top trade advisers on Thursday to decide whether to activate threatened tariffs.

Among stocks, Twenty-First Century Fox rose 1.4 percent in premarket trading after Comcast offered $65 billion to lure the company away from a merger with Walt Disney with a 20 percent higher offer.

Oracle dropped 2.5 percent after Nomura cut its price target on the business software maker’s stock.

Mylan fell 2.8 percent after the company said U.S. regulators were unable to approve its generic version of inhaled lung drug Advair as they found “minor deficiencies” in the treatment. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru)

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