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US STOCKS-Wall Street set to open at record levels ahead of Powell talk

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

* Twitter, Under Armour, Lyft jump after results

* Cicso drops after fifth straight decline in qtrly revenue

* Powell’s address begins at 2 pm ET

* U.S. consumer prices increase steadily in Jan

* Futures up: Dow 0.48%, S&P 0.50%, Nasdaq 0.45% (Adds comment, details; updates prices)

Feb 10 (Reuters) - Wall Street’s main indexes were set to clinch record highs at the open on Wednesday, supported by positive earnings updates while investors looked to a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell for clues on the pace of an economic rebound.

U.S. stock futures moved higher after data showed U.S. consumer prices rose moderately in January but underlying inflation remained benign as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to be a drag on the labor market and services industry.

The Fed has signaled it would tolerate higher prices “for some time” as the economy climbs out of a coronavirus-driven recession. Powell will be speaking about the state of the U.S. labor market in a webinar at 2 p.m. ET (1900 GMT) on Wednesday.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday agreed to a proposal by Democratic lawmakers to limit or phase out stimulus payments to higher-income individuals as part of his administration’s $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

Bets on more fiscal aid have powered Wall Street’s main indexes to a series of all-time peaks recently, with investors moving into sectors such as energy, banks and industrials that are poised to benefit from a recovering economy.

Fourth-quarter earnings have also exceeded expectations, easing concerns over high valuations. Analysts now see quarterly earnings for S&P 500 firms rising 2.5%, a stark reversal from the 10.3% decline forecast at the beginning of the year, per Refinitiv.

“Although visibility isn’t great into the future, the analysts are extrapolating that into higher earnings throughout this year than may be what folks had feared six months ago,” said Eric Marshall, portfolio manager & head of research at Hodges Capital Management in Dallas.

Twitter Inc added about 9% premarket after it beat analyst targets for quarterly sales and profit, and forecast a strong start to 2021 as ad spending rebounds from a rock bottom.

Under Armour Inc advanced more than 6% after the athletic apparel maker beat quarterly revenue estimates.

Lyft Inc jumped 10% after the ride-hailing firm said it could make an adjusted profit by the third quarter of this year despite the pandemic, thanks to additional cost cuts and an expected rebound in ride-hail demand.

Rival Uber Technologies Inc gained 6% ahead of its results, while Walt Disney Co, also set to report after markets close, rose 0.8%.

At 8:36 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were up 149 points, or 0.48%, S&P 500 E-minis were up 19.5 points, or 0.5% and Nasdaq 100 E-minis were up 61 points, or 0.45%.

Investors’ focus is also on the progress in vaccination efforts. The U.S. government is set to begin shipping of COVID-19 vaccines directly to community health centers next week in an effort to speed up inoculations.

Eli Lilly and Co became the latest drugmaker to receive an emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its combination antibody therapy to fight COVID-19. Its shares rose 2.1%.

Cisco Systems Inc slipped about 5% after it reported a decline in revenue for a fifth straight quarter.

General Motors Co slipped 0.7% as it forecast weaker-than-expected 2021 results, citing a shortage of chips used in car production. (Reporting by Devik Jain and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V and Maju Samuel)

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