U.S. stock futures pointed to a steady open on Friday, as investors remained cautious ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen in Jackson Hole later in the day.
Ahead of the open, the Dow 30 futures pointed to a 0.01% dip, S&P 500 futures signaled a 0.04% loss, while the Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a 0.01% downtick.
On Wednesday, the minutes of the Fed’s July meeting showed that some officials believe the strengthening recovery and ongoing improvement in the labor market supports a move towards tightening monetary policy.
Market participants were eyeing Ms. Yellen's comments later in the day for further indications on the central bank's next policy moves.
The telecom sector was likely to be active, amid reports T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS) and Sprint Corp (NYSE:S) are embarking on a price battle to take each others's subscribers after a deal to merge the wireless carriers failed.
Starting next week, T-Mobile’s refer-a-friend campaign will reward its own subscribers and the friends recruited from other carriers with one year of unlimited data, according a company statement.
Sprint, on the other hand, will be offering unlimited data, calling and messaging for $60 a month, which is $20 less than a similar package at T-Mobile.
Elsewhere, Home Depot (NYSE:HD), down 0.10% in pre-market trade, was also set to be in focus after announcing that U.S. Retail President Craig Menear will succeed Frank Blake as chief executive officer in two months.
In earnings news, Gap (NYSE:GPS) climbed 0.74% in late trading after the clothing retailer posted second-quarter profit that exceeded analysts' estimates.
GameStop (NYSE:GME) added to gains, up 5.09% after-hours, as it reported quarterly profit that topped analysts' estimates. Earlier this week, the video-game chain had announced that its chief executive underwent surgery for brain cancer.
Across the Atlantic, European stock markets were lower. The DJ Euro Stoxx 50 dropped 0.54%, France’s CAC 40 declined 0.71%, Germany's DAX retreated 0.43%, while Britain's FTSE 100 slipped 0.17%.
During the Asian trading session, Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.47%, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 slid 0.30%.