December 21, 2017 / 2:10 PM / 3 months ago

US STOCKS-Wall St set to rise after GDP data, tax bill passage

* Third-quarter GDP growth of 3.2 pct vs. est of 3.3 pct

* Accenture, Conagra gain after upbeat results

* Bed, Bath and Beyond sinks on margin concerns after results

* Futures up: S&P 5.25 pts, Nasdaq 5 pts, Dow 22 pts (Adds comment, details on GDP data, updates prices)

By Sruthi Shankar

Dec 21 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open higher on Thursday after data showed U.S. economy grew at its fastest pace in more than two years in the third quarter, and investors eyed gains from sweeping tax cuts passed by Congress this week.

GDP expanded at a 3.2 percent annual rate last quarter, the Commerce Department said on Thursday, and was poised for what could be a modest lift next year from sweeping tax cuts passed by Congress.

The three main stock indexes dipped on Wednesday after both houses of Congress approved the bill, which includes cutting corporate tax rate to 21 percent from 35 percent.

“Market is looking at other factors besides the tax perspectives and is going to be driven by a slew of macro news,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial in New York.

“We’re headed for a mixed to positive session, with macro indicators continuing to cheer on investors.”

In other data, jobless claims increased more than expected last week, but the underlying trend remained consistent with a tightening labor market.

The S&P 500 has risen by about 20 percent this year, its best performance since 2013, partly on hopes of tax cuts.

A bunch of companies including AT&T, Wells Fargo and Boeing promised higher pay for workers or more investment in training. Some others have forecast a rise in earnings due to tax cuts.

At 8:36 a.m. ET (1336 GMT), S&P 500 e-minis were up 5.25 points, or 0.2 percent, with 185 contracts changing hands.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 5 points, or 0.08 percent, in volume of 33 contracts.

Dow e-minis were up 22 points, or 0.09 percent, with 4 contracts changing hands.

Accenture jumped 3.5 percent in premarket trading after the consulting and outsourcing services provider reported strong quarterly profit driven by digital and cloud services business.

Bed Bath and Beyond fell about 5 percent after the company said comparable sales fell 0.3 percent in the third quarter.

Conagra rose 2.25 percent after the maker of Chef Boyardee pasta reported a better-than-expected profit and revenue as consumers stocked up on food items because of hurricanes. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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