US STOCKS-Wall Street set for slow start as economic uncertainty weighs

Reuters

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    * Apple edges higher after lukewarm reception for new iPhone
    * U.S.-listed Chinese stocks dip on fears of debt crisis 
    * Tech stocks supported by rush for safety
    * Futures: Dow down 0.07%, S&P up 0.06%, Nasdaq up 0.14% 

 (Adds comments, updates prices)
    By Ambar Warrick
    Sept 15 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes were set for a muted
open on Wednesday as a slowing economic recovery and uncertainty
over higher taxes weighed on sentiment, even though signs of
inflation peaking eased fears of an early cut to monetary
stimulus.
    The S&P 500  .SPX  had sunk to a more than three-week low on
Tuesday, while the Dow  .DJI  hit a near two-month trough as
investors fretted over the potential impact of a tax hike on
corporate profits.
    While signs of cooling inflation have made early tapering by
the Federal Reserve seem unlikely, they have also raised the
question of when exactly the bank would begin scaling back its
massive pandemic-induced stimulus plan. 
    Economically sensitive sectors such as energy rose in
premarket trading after largely underperforming their peers in
the previous session.
    But financial stocks, particularly big banks, fell as
Treasury yields retreated on expectations of loose monetary
policy in the near term.  US/ 
    "It's just a softening of economic activity, not just in the
U.S. but globally ... we still have the COVID Delta variant
that's causing problems in a lot of areas," said Randy
Frederick, managing director of trading and derivatives for the
Schwab Center for Financial Research.
    "We were at all-time highs just a week-and-a-half ago, the
market tends to be sensitive to any kind of news, any kind of
bad economic data when it's at all-time highs."
    U.S. S&P 500 E-minis  EScv1  were up 2.5 points, or 0.06%,
at 8:12 a.m. ET. Dow E-minis  1YMcv1  were down 23 points, or
0.07%, while Nasdaq 100 E-minis  NQcv1  were up 21.25 points, or
0.14%. 
    U.S.-listed Chinese stocks extended recent losses, as weak
retail sales data pointed to a possible economic slowdown in the
mainland.
    A growing debt crisis in the country's No. 2 property
developer, China Evergrande Group  3333.HK , has raised fears of
 a possible impact to major lenders.
    "The Asian banks will get hit hard if there's a default, but
then there will be a 10-year recovery process. The market's
getting a hang of it. The way they've managed the news flow
seems quite clever. They haven't let a swathe of bad news at
once," said Keith Temperton, sales trader at Forte Securities.
    Concerns over Evergrande's default have further dented
appetite for Chinese stocks after a series of regulatory moves
by Beijing against major technology firms wiped out billions in
market value this year.
    But U.S. technology stocks have fared better than other
sectors this month, with investors preferring relatively safer
spaces due to seasonally weak trends in September.
    Apple Inc  AAPL.O  rose around 0.1% after tumbling 1% in the
last session on a somewhat lukewarm response to the unveiling of
its Phone 13 and a new iPad mini.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL1N2QG1WA
    Among other movers, lending platform GreenSky Inc  GSKY.O 
shot up more than 44% after Goldman Sachs Group Inc  GS.N  said
it will buy the firm in an all-stock deal valued at $2.24
billion.  urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL4N2QH2XJ
    Goldman Sachs shares fell 0.9%. 
    

 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru;
Editing by Arun Koyyur and Maju Samuel)
 ((Ambar.Warrick@thomsonreuters.com; +91-80-6182-2837; Reuters
Messaging: ambar.warrick.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net;
Twitter: @AmbarWarrick))

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