September 9, 2019 / 1:22 PM / 11 days ago

US STOCKS-Wall Street set to open higher on hopes of monetary stimulus

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* Futures up: Dow 0.23%, S&P 0.34%, Nasdaq 0.29% (Updates shares, adds comments)

By Uday Sampath Kumar

Sept 9 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set to open higher on Monday, as mixed global economic data lifted expectations of monetary stimulus from central banks, including the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Markets were on course to extend gains from last week, which ended with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell saying the central bank would “act as appropriate” to sustain economic expansion, a phrase that financial markets have read as signs of a potential interest rate cut.

The Fed cut interest rates for the first time since 2008 in July, setting them between 2% and 2.25%. Bets of another cut rose after data on Friday showed the U.S. economy added fewer-than-expected jobs in August.

Traders see a 91.2% chance of a quarter percentage point cut in the Fed’s September policy meeting, up from 90% on Friday, according to CME’s FedWatch. The European Central Bank is also expected to cut rates later this week.

The S&P 500 gained 1.8% last week as a slew of positive global economic news, including China’s decision to slash bank reserve requirements, more than offset a mixed set of domestic economic data.

The benchmark index added to its positive momentum on Monday by breaking out of its August trading range late last week, said Shawn Gibson, Chief Investment Officer of asset management firm Liquid Strategies in Atlanta.

“Barring any surprise news, this should be a quiet week in the equity market as most investors are on hold until next week for the FOMC (Federal Open Market Committee) meeting,” Gibson said.

In company news, AT&T Inc shares rose 6.7% after shareholder Elliott Management Corp called the wireless carrier “deeply undervalued” and urged it to restructure its business.

Boeing Co fell 1% after it suspended load testing of its new widebody 777X aircraft over the weekend as media reports said a cargo door failed in a ground stress test.

Shares of Fred’s Inc plunged 41.1% after the discount retailer said it was filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

At 8:50 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 62 points, or 0.23%. S&P 500 e-minis were up 10 points, or 0.34% and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 22.5 points, or 0.29%.

Among other stocks, drugmaker Amgen Inc fell 3%, the biggest loser among S&P 500 components in premarket trading, as analysts raised questions about data on the company’s lung cancer drug.

Shares of fellow drugmaker Eli Lilly and Co rose 1.4% as data showed its experimental cancer drug shrank tumors. (Reporting by Uday Sampath in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)

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