US STOCKS-Wall St to open lower on housing data, Iraq worry
* CPI tops expectations, points to firming inflation
* Housing starts fall more than anticipated
* Fed begins two-day policy meeting
* Futures down: Dow 42 pts, S&P 4.25 pts, Nasdaq 5.5 pts (Adds quote, data, updates prices)
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, June 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set for a modestly lower open Tuesday on weaker than expected data on the housing market as the Federal Reserve prepared to begin a two-day policy meeting.
Housing starts and building permits fell more than expected in May, as groundbreaking for homes dropped 6.5 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual pace of 1 million units.
But the Consumer Price Index increased 0.4 percent last month, with food prices posting their biggest rise since August 2011, pointing to a steady firming of inflation pressures which should ease concerns of some Fed officials that inflation was running too low.
"This is the second quarter, this is the quarter that is suppose to rebound from the weather-related slowdown in the first quarter and there have been fits and starts of better than expected data, but as it pertains to housing, that hasn't been one of the shining stars," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Wunderlich Securities in New York. Continuación...