October 2, 2017 / 1:10 PM / a year ago

US STOCKS-Wall St to open higher on hopes of Trump tax plan progress

* Casino stocks dip, while gunmakers rise after Las Vegas shooting

* Futures: Dow up 53 pts, S&P 4.75 pts, Nasdaq up 14.75 pts (Adds analyst comment; updates movement)

By Ankur Banerjee

Oct 2 (Reuters) - Wall Street looked set to open higher on Monday as investors bet President Donald Trump's tax reform could make some headway and expectations of a more hawkish successor to Fed Chair Janet Yellen.

Shares of Casino operators MGM Resorts International , Melco Resorts & Entertainment, Wynn Resorts and Las Vegas Sands slipped premarket after a gunman killed at least 50 people in Las Vegas on Sunday.

Gunmakers Sturm Ruger & Co and American Outdoor Brands moved higher after the mass shooting at a country music festival.

"The market is optimistic today, hoping that some kind of tax reform package will be discussed at Washington," said Robert Pavlik, chief market strategist at Boston Private in Fairfield, Connecticut.

"Investors are also beginning to position themselves for the earnings season and the fourth quarter."

U.S. stocks are at record levels, with each of the major indexes ending the third quarter with solid gains on Friday.

Trump has called for tax cuts for most Americans in his proposal, but drew criticism that the plan favors business and the rich and could add trillions of dollars to the deficit.

Despite inflation remaining below the 2 percent target set by the Federal Reserve, Fed Chair Janet Yellen's recent speech has suggested the odds of an interest rate hike in December remain high.

Trump has promised a decision this month on who is likely to be the new chief of the U.S. central bank and has met with former Federal Reserve Governor Kevin Warsh and three others.

President Trump would soon have to announce who would chair the Fed and many do think that he may favor someone who would take a more aggressive approach towards monetary policy, said Naeem Aslam, chief market analyst at ThinkMarkets UK.

The dollar soared on Monday as U.S. Treasury yields hit their highest in almost 12 weeks, while Spanish stocks fell as a police crackdown on a unilateral independence vote in Catalonia rattled investors.

ISM will likely report that its national manufacturing index dipped to a reading of 58.0 in September from 58.8 in August. Data is expected at 10:00 a.m ET (1400 GMT)

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas President Robert Kaplan scheduled to participate in a moderated Q&A session hosted by the Dallas Federal Reserve at 2:00 p.m ET.

At 8:36 a.m. EDT, Dow e-minis were up 53 points, or 0.24 percent, with 18,748 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis were up 4.75 points, or 0.19 percent, with 124,866 contracts traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 14.75 points, or 0.25 percent, on volume of 23,397 contracts.

Shares of Nordstrom fell 5 percent premarket following a New York Post report that talks to take the department store operator private were faltering. (Reporting by Ankur Banerjee and Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)

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