U.S. stocks looked set to open little changed on Friday, with all three major indexes near record highs, a day after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen sent a strong signal that interest rates would be increased next month.
The Fed could raise rates “relatively soon”, Yellen said in a congressional testimony on Thursday, adding that she would serve out her term.
Traders are pricing in an 83 percent chance of a December move, according to Thomson Reuters data.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said he was leaning toward supporting an interest rate increase in December and that the real question now would be the Fed’s rate path in 2017.
U.S. stocks had been on a tear since Donald Trump’s surprise victory in the U.S. presidential election last week as his proposals to increase infrastructure spending and reduce taxes are seen benefiting the economy.
The rally took a breather this week as investors seek more clarity regarding Trump’s policies and his campaign promises.
“I think it’s a little bit of a rally given what people perceive will start to do well, so you see financials leading the way,” said Arian Vojdani, investment strategist at MV Financial.
“I personally think a lot of this growth is a sugar high, if you will.”
S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were down 1 point, or 0.05 percent, with 157,059 contracts traded at 8:24 a.m. ET.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were down 0.75 points, or 0.02 percent, on volume of 25,270 contracts.
Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were down 9 points, or 0.05 percent, with 25,736 contracts changing hands.
Investors will also keep an eye on comments from a host of Fed members on Friday including Kansas City Fed President Esther George and New York Fed head William Dudley.
Brent crude oil prices were headed for their first weekly gain in five on Friday buoyed by renewed hopes that OPEC might agree to production cuts, but a stronger U.S. dollar capped gains. [O/R]
The dollar .DXY powered to its highest level since 2003 against a basket of currencies.
Gap (GPS.N) fell 6.5 percent to $28.70 in premarket trading after the apparel chain said it expected a further drop in traffic during the crucial holiday shopping season.
Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF.N) skidded 11.1 percent to $15.05 after the teen apparel retailer posted a bigger-than-expected drop in quarterly sales.
Salesforce.com (CRM.N) rose 6.4 percent to $79.97, a day after it forecast current-quarter revenue above analysts’ estimates.
SolarCity (SCTY.O) was up 2.5 percent at $20.91 after Tesla (TSLA.O) CEO Elon Musk won approval from the electric luxury automaker’s shareholders for an acquisition of the solar energy system installer in which he is the largest shareholder. Tesla edged up 1 percent to $190.56.
(Reporting by Tanya Agrawal and Anya George Tharakan; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)