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US STOCKS-S&P 500 set to open higher ahead of Powell testimony

(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.)

* All eyes on Powell’s congressional testimony at 2 p.m. ET

* Crypto stocks extends declines

* Sanderson Farms climbs on plans for sale

* Futures up: Dow 0.11%, S&P 0.14%, Nasdaq 0.19% (Adds comment, details; updates prices)

June 22 (Reuters) - The S&P 500 was set to open within 1% of its peak on Tuesday as investors looked to Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s remarks for clues on how the central bank is balancing inflation risk with its promise to ensure a full jobs market recovery.

In his prepared remarks released late Monday afternoon, Powell said inflation has “increased notably in recent months” but regarded the recent jump as likely to fade. The Fed chief is due to speak before Congress at 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT).

“The Fed, and particularly Powell, are going to continue to talk to the transitory nature of inflation,” said Tony Minopoli, chief investment officer at Knights of Columbus Asset Advisors in Connecticut.

“We are at this inflection point where employment is getting better and we move from a stimulus-driven economic situation to a more traditional, consumer-led growth.”

U.S. stocks rebounded on Monday after the Fed’s hawkish tone on the back of improving economic data triggered a sharp profit booking last week on the companies touted as “re-opening” stocks.

Still, energy, financials and other economically sensitive stocks have far outperformed the benchmark S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow indexes year-to-date.

“We are approaching at least the peak of the V-shaped economic recovery and that’s a more challenging time as we have to think of what that means for growth and corporate earnings and incremental policy support,” said David Riley, chief investment strategist, BlueBay Asset Management.

At 8:33 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 37 points, or 0.11%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 5.75 points, or 0.14%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 26.25 points, or 0.19%.

Crypto stocks including miners Riot Blockchain, Marathon Patent Group, Ebang International and MicroStrategy Inc fell between 4.4% and 7% as China’s crackdown on bitcoin mining expanded to the province of Sichuan.

Sanderson Farms jumped 11.3% as J.P. Morgan raised its price target on the stock after a source told Reuters that the chicken producer was exploring a sale. (Reporting by Devik Jain and Medha Singh in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Sujata Rao-Coverley; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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