February 16, 2017 / 2:01 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St to open lower as it navigates unchartered territory

* S&P marked longest winning streak since 2013 on Wednesday

* Jobless claims rose less than expected last week

* Cisco edges up on revenue and profit beat

* Futures down: Dow 40 pts, S&P 5.5 pts, Nasdaq 4.5 pts (Adds details, comments, updates prices)

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

Feb 16 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to dip slightly at the open on Thursday as investors looked for fresh catalysts to keep up Wall Street’s record-setting run as the outlook for the economy brightened.

The rally was sparked a week back by President Donald Trump’s vow of a ‘phenomenal’ tax announcement. Robust economic data has also been a boost, while bank stocks have risen on prospects of an upcoming interest rate hike.

Trump tweeted on Thursday: “Stock market hits new high with longest winning streak in decades. Great level of confidence and optimism - even before tax plan rollout!”

“The market is likely to take a breather after recklessly rising to continued record highs without a pause,” Perter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard Financial wrote in a note.

This type of action is due to the market expecting a perfect fiscal reform and that maybe placed on hold, he said.

Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen said rates were likely to be increased at an upcoming meeting, after which traders raised their odds of a hike in March. Even the prospect of an imminent hike has not deterred investors, given the improving economy.

Adding to strong data points of late, a Labor Department report Thursday showed the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits rose less than expected last week.

Dow e-minis were down 40 points, or 0.19 percent at 8:27 a.m. ET, with 20,531 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 5.5 points, or 0.23 percent, with 123,701 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 4.5 points, or 0.08 percent, on volume of 19,915 contracts.

The S&P 500 on Wednesday closed up for the seventh session in a row, its first such streak since September 2013. The S&P, Dow Jones Industrial Average and the Nasdaq have hit record intraday highs and closing highs for five straight sessions.

Among stocks, Dow component Cisco rose 1.6 percent to $33.34 premarket after the network equipment maker reported better-than-expected quarterly revenue and profit.

NetEase rose 7.4 percent to $281.60 following the Chinese online game developer’s revenue beat.

Molina Healthcare dropped nearly 17 percent to $49.70 after the health insurer reported a fourth-quarter loss and forecast 2017 profit far below estimates.

Alexion Pharma rose 3 percent to $136.10 after the company gave a 2017 revenue forecast that a Leerink analyst said would likely quell investor concerns. (Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D’Souza)

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