* Rate hike odds for March stand at 83 pct
* Nimble Storage jumps on deal with Hewlett Packard
* Futures down: Dow 28 pts, S&P 4.75 pts, Nasdaq 10 pts
(Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
March 7 U.S. stocks looked set for a slightly
lower open on Tuesday as investors readied themselves for an
interest rate hike next week.
The Federal Reserve has left no stone unturned in preparing
the markets for tighter monetary policy when it meets on March
14-15. Central bankers could also call for faster rate hikes as
the U.S. economy strengthens.
The chances for a rate hike this month are at 83 percent, up
from roughly 30 percent at the start of last week, according to
Thomson Reuters data.
"The market is headed for another slow mixed to negative
session as investors continue to focus on an upcoming rate hike"
Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at First Standard
Financial wrote in a note.
While a post-election rally has been accompanied by pauses,
the indexes have not experienced a steep correction, leading
some to question market valuations.
The S&P 500 is trading at about 18 times forward earnings
estimates against the long-term average of about 15 times,
according to Thomson Reuters data. The index has not recorded a
1 percent pullback since October.
Dow e-minis were down 28 points, or 0.13 percent at
8:30 a.m. ET (1330 GMT), with 17,341 contracts changing hands.
S&P 500 e-minis were down 4.75 points, or 0.2
percent, with 110,229 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 10 points, or 0.19
percent, on volume of 17,439 contracts.
Healthcare stocks could be in focus after Republicans
unveiled a proposal on Monday that would roll back extra
healthcare funding for the poor and introduce a system of tax
credits for people to buy insurance.
Newly minted shares of Snapchat owner Snap Inc fell
3 percent to $23.10 in premarket trading after a group
representing large institutional investors asked stock index
providers to bar the company and others who sell non-voting
shares from their stock benchmarks.
Nimble Storage soared nearly 45 percent after
Hewlett Packard Co said it would buy the data storage
provider for $1.09 billion in cash.
Dish Network was up 5 percent at $64.30 after the
satellite TV company was picked to join the S&P 500.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by