US STOCKS-Wall St set to open flat as investors assess G20 shift

Reuters

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* Chicago Fed head to speak at 1:10 p.m. ET * Sprouts Farmers up after report on Albertsons merger talk * Futures down: Dow 3 pts, S&P 2.75 pts, Nasdaq 1 pt (Adds details, comment, updates prices) By Tanya Agrawal March 20 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks looked set to open little changed on Monday as investors digested the G20's decision to drop a pledge to keep global trade free and open. Financial leaders of the world's biggest economies made only a token reference to trade in their communique on Saturday, acquiescing to an increasingly protectionist United States after the two-day meeting failed to yield a compromise. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N1GV096 The dollar fell to a six-week low, while European stocks were lower. The U.S. stock market has been on a roll since the election of Donald Trump as U.S. president, spurred by optimism over his plans to reform the tax code and cut regulation. The S&P 500 has risen about 11 percent since early November. "Given the slow progress in implementing tax cuts and infrastructure spending plans, markets will soon realize that they are ahead of themselves," said Hussein Sayed, chief market strategist at FXTM. "I'm still quite confident that U.S. protectionist policies will do more harm than good." Analysts are also worried that the Trump administration is spending too much of its political capital in an effort to pass a Republican-proposed healthcare bill, which may leave it wanting for support when it tries to reform the tax code. Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 3 points, or 0.01 percent, with 14,346 contracts changing hands at 8:15 a.m. ET. S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 2.75 points, or 0.12 percent, with 79,398 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 1 point, or 0.02 percent, on volume of 17,128 contracts. The U.S. Federal Reserve's conservative rate guidance is also weighing on investors, who will keep an eye on Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans' speech. Evans, a voting member this year on the Fed's rate-setting committee, will speak on the economy at 1:10 p.m. ET (1510 GMT) and participate in a live television interview at 8:30 a.m. ET. The week is expected to see a host of Fed speakers, including Fed Chair Janet Yellen on Thursday. The central bank raised interest rates for the first time this year by 25 basis points last week but stuck to its outlook for two more hikes this year, instead of three expected by the market. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nS0N1F002K Oil prices fell more than 1 percent as investors made record cuts to bets on rising prices after strong drilling data from the United States fed concerns about the effectiveness of OPEC-led production cuts to curb a supply glut. O/R Shares of Array Biopharma ARRY.O dipped 11.9 percent to $9.30 in premarket trading after J.P. Morgan cut its price target on the stock. Sprouts Farmers Market SFM.O was up 5.2 percent at $23.15 after Bloomberg reported that grocer Albertsons Cos held preliminary talks to merge with the natural and organic foods grocer. urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N1GW0MM U.S.-listed shares of Deutsche Bank DB.N fell 2.6 percent to $18.54 after the German lender disclosed terms of its nearly $9 billion cash call. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty) ((tanya.agrawal@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 6749 1130; Reuters Messaging: tanya.agrawal.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net)) Keywords: USA STOCKS/

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