U.S. stock futures pointed to a negative open on Friday as investors digested the latest comments from the Federal Reserve.
unchanged, as was expected, but comments by the U.S. central bank suggested it was on course to continue hiking rates.
Although a statement released by the institution noted a moderation in business investment, it said the bank still expects “further gradual increases” in the prime lending rate. Traders had been on edge last month due to concerns over the Fed’s rate hiking path.
Several Fed members will deliver speeches throughout the day on Friday. New York Fed President John Williams is holding a speech at 8:30 a.m. ET, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker is making a speech at 8:50 a.m. ET, and Fed Vice Chairman of Supervision Randal Quarles is speaking at 9 a.m. ET.
Tom Williams | CQ Roll Call | Getty Images
Jerome Powell, nominee to be chairman of the Federal Reserve, waits to testify at his Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee confirmation hearing in Hart Building on November 28, 2017.
Traders are also keeping an eye on the U.S. political situation, after midterm elections on Tuesday saw the Democratic Party regain control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010, while Republicans made gains in the Senate.
On the earnings front, Yelp shares plunged more than 31 percent in the premarket after releasing its latest quarterly results. Dow-member Disney, meanwhile, rose 2.1 percent on the back of better-than-expected results.
Meanwhile, in data, the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases its producer price index (PPI) at 8:30 a.m. ET, while consumer sentiment and wholesale trade data are expected to be released at 10 a.m. ET.