Wall Street set to open lower as oil prices fall

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, U.S., February 22, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Tanya Agrawal

(Reuters) – U.S. stocks were set to open lower on Friday as a drop in oil prices weighed and investors assessed if the “Trump rally” had gone too far too soon.

Oil prices were down about 1 percent after U.S. crude inventories rose for a seventh week, showing the market is still struggling to ease oversupply. [O/R]

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President Donald Trump’s promises of tax reforms, reduced regulations and increased infrastructure spending has helped spur equities to record highs.

The S&P 500 is up more than 10 percent and at all-time highs since the election. The Dow notched a record high for a tenth straight session on Thursday, its longest such streak since 1987.

But, with Trump giving scant detail on his plans – including on one on Thursday to bring millions of jobs back to the United States – those gains have come with the markets trading in a tight range.

The benchmark S&P 500 index has not registered a move of at least one percent in either direction since Dec. 7.

“Investors have embraced this oversimplified fundamental story of Trump’s impact on the financial market and you’re starting to see that narrative unravel a bit,” said Aaron Clark, portfolio manager at GW&K Investment Management.

“The market will come to realize that a lot of these pro-growth policies might get pushed to the end of this year or next year and you might have this buyer’s remorse for the market.”

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday that any policy steps would probably have only a limited impact this year. Investor will likely get more clarity on Trump’s plan on Tuesday, when he addresses a joint session of Congress.

Dow e-minis <1YMc1> were down 73 points, or 0.35 percent, with 28,671 contracts changing hands at 8:31 a.m. ET (1331 GMT).

S&P 500 e-minis <ESc1> were down 10.5 points, or 0.44 percent, with 189,563 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis <NQc1> were down 29.25 points, or 0.55 percent, on volume of 30,953 contracts.

Shares of Hewlett Packard Enterprise <HPE.N> fell 8.35 percent to $22.60 in premarket trading after the company cut its full-year profit forecast.

J.C. Penney <JCP.N> fell 1.91 percent to $6.73 after the department store operator said it would close about 130-140 stores over the next few months.

Nordstrom <JWN.N> was up 2.39 percent at $44.99 after the company’s quarterly profit beat expectations.

Data due on Friday includes a report from the U.S. Commerce Department that is likely to show new single-family home sales rebounded in January.

Separately, a report from the University of Michigan is seen showing that the final consumer sentiment index held at 96.0 in February, compared with a preliminary reading of 95.7. Both reports are expected at 10 a.m. ET (1500 GMT).

(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Savio D’Souza)