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Wall St heads lower, tax plan doubts weigh

US producer prices rise 0.4% in October.

Wall Street was set to open marginally lower on Tuesday as worries about Republican tax plans and the economy’s ability to deal with more rises in interest rates weighed on the mood among investors.

Shares in Home Depot held steady while those in off-price retailer TJX dipped after quarterly reports that bore the impact of a violent US hurricane season.

Buffalo Wild Wings surged 26% after a report that the restaurant chain had received a takeover bid at about $2.3 billion from private equity Roark Capital Group.

With the quarterly earnings season winding down, the market has halted after its rally to record highs last week.

Investors were waiting for any signs of compromise on US tax policy after Senate Republicans unveiled a plan last week that would cut corporate taxes a year later than a rival House of Representatives’ bill.

“You’re at the end of the earnings season, economic data is all distorted because of the hurricanes, I don’t think there is going to be any clear picture until we get a firm yes or no for the tax bill,” Scott Brown, chief economist at Raymond James in St. Petersburg, Florida.

“We’ll see a bit of back-and-forth, the market’s got to breathe.”

At 8:32am ET (1232 GMT), Dow e-minis were down 38 points, or 0.16%, with 27 263 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were down 5 points, or 0.19%, with 176 095 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 5.25 points, or 0.08%, on volume of 29 520 contracts.

A Labor Department report showed producer prices increased 0.4% in October, after similar gains in September. Economists polled by Reuters had a expected a 0.1% rise.

In the 12 months through October, the producer price index jumped 2.8%, the largest rise since February 2012.

St. Louis Fed president James Bullard said on Tuesday the Fed should keep its benchmark interest rate at current levels until there is an upswing in inflation.

Investors are concerned that a tightening gap between short and long-term US government bond yields suggests the Federal Reserve may be in danger of hiking rates too much and killing longer term inflation and growth.


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