Investing.com – Wall Street futures pointed to a lower open on Friday as investors looked ahead to economic data and a series of appearances from Federal Reserve (Fed) policymakers.
The blue-chip Dow futures fell 51 points, or 0.24%, at 6:51AM ET (10:51GMT), the S&P 500 futures slipped 1 point, or 0.03%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures dropped 9 points, or 0.15%.
Market participants will digest remarks from several Fed officials throughout Friday as they look to gauge the future path of U.S. monetary policy in an economy marked by tepid inflation.
St. Louis Fed chief James Bullard was scheduled to discuss the U.S. economy and policy at a conference at 11:15AM ET (15:15GMT).
Cleveland Fed president Loretta Mester will be the keynote speaker at a summit on housing, human capital and inequality at 12:40PM ET (16:40GMT).
Fed governor Jerome Powell will participate in a symposium organized by the Chicago Fed at 2:15PM ET (18:15GMT).
Markets remained skeptical that the U.S. central bank would manage to hike rates for a third time this year with Fed fund futures not putting the odds near the 50% threshold until March 2018, according to Investing.com’s Fed Rate Monitor Tool.
Investors also looked ahead to data points scheduled for release later in the session.
IHS Markit will release preliminary figures for June in both the manufacturing and services sectors at 9:45AM ET (13:45GMT).
A mere 15 minutes later, investors will gauge the real estate market with the publication of new home sales which were expected to have bounced back in May after a sharp decline the prior month.
While markets waited for the day’s major references stateside, the dollar traded lower ahead of the weekend. At 6:52AM ET (10:52GMT), the U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a trade-weighted basket of six major currencies, was down 0.16% at 97.10.
Meanwhile, oil managed to edge higher on Friday but was still on track for weekly losses of 4%.
Crude looked to log its fifth straight weekly decline, under pressure from concerns the OPEC/non-OPEC agreement to cut production would be offset by increases from members exempt from the reduction as well as a continuous rise in output from U.S. shale.
The number of rigs drilling for oil in the U.S. has increased for 22 straight weeks with the latest figures due on Friday from oilfield services firm Baker Hughes as investors waited to see if recent price drops in crude will be enough to cause a re-think on drilling plans.
U.S. crude futures gained 0.23% to $42.84 by 6:53AM ET (10:53GMT), while Brent oil rose 0.33% to $45.47.
On the earnings front, Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) looked set to trade sharply lower on Friday after reporting a 39% in quarterly profit after the prior days close. Shares were down more than 7% in the after-hours market.
BlackBerry (NASDAQ:BBRY) (TO:BB) will report its own numbers ahead of the opening bell Friday.
In other news on automakers, Ford (NYSE:F) recalled around 16,000 models in South Africa over a fire risk, while speculation continued that Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) was moving closer towards being able to produce its vehicles in China.