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Wall St set to open higher on more signs of cooling inflation

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Aug 11 (Reuters) - Wall Street was on Thursday set to extend a rally from the previous session as fresh evidence of cooling inflation further cemented expectations of a smaller increase in interest rates.

Data showed U.S. producer prices unexpectedly fell in July amid a drop in the cost for energy products, bolstering the chance of a 50-basis point hike by the Federal Reserve in September instead of 75 basis points.

The indexes had sharply rallied on Wednesday following a softer-than-expected rise in consumer prices. The gains came even as policymakers left no doubt they will tighten monetary policy until price pressures are fully broken. read more

"Rates still have to move higher even though in the very short run the market is reacting positively... Inflation is a bit more moderate, but inflation has not disappeared as a problem as yet," said Chuck Lieberman, chief investment officer at Advisors Capital Management.

Traders are now pricing in a more than 67.5% chance that the Fed will hike interest rate by 50 basis points. IRPR

Meanwhile, the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose for the second straight week, indicating further softening in the labor market despite tight conditions. read more

As of the last close, the Nasdaq (.IXIC) was more than 20% above its June low, but still short of its peak in November to confirm a new bull market.

Despite its recent rebound, the tech-heavy index is down 17.9% so far this year as fears of an aggressive monetary policy sapped appetite for equities, particularly high-growth stocks.

At 8:42 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 248 points, or 0.75%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 29.25 points, or 0.69%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 95 points, or 0.71%.

Banks looked set to extend their climb, with Bank of America (BAC.N) up 1.9% in premarket trading. Megacap growth and technology stocks that led the overnight rally also advanced.

"People are projecting into the banks that there will be much more lending going forward if the economy does fine and inflation will decline," said Hugh Anderson, managing director at Hightower Advisors.

In earnings-driven news, Bumble Inc (BMBL.O) dropped 6.7% on cutting its annual revenue forecast, taking a hit from the Ukraine war while also grappling with stiff competition from rivals such as Match Group Inc (MTCH.O) in the online dating market. read more

Walt Disney (DIS.N) jumped 9.6% as the media giant edged past rival Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) with 221 million streaming customers and announced it will increase prices for customers who want to watch Disney+ or Hulu without commercials. read more

Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Aniruddha Ghosh in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur
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