Wall Street was set to open lower on Friday as jittery investors await a decision on rate hike by the U.S. Federal Reserve next week. However, the S&P 500 was poised for its biggest weekly gain since July despite the recent volatility that has rocked the global financial market.
Stocks have been volatile for the past few weeks since China devalued its currency in August and the impact of a slowdown in the region on global growth rattled investors. The S&P 500 has had moves of at least 1% in 11 sessions since Aug. 20.
Investors pulled another $15.9 billion from U.S. equities over the past week as they sought safety in government bond funds, Bank of America Merrill Lynch said.
E-mini S&P 500 were down 9.5 points, or 0.49%, with 159,235 contracts traded at 8:45 a.m. ET. E-mini Nasdaq 100 were down 25 points, or 0.58%, on volume of 16,105 contracts. E-mini Dow were down 73 points, or 0.45%, with 13,838 contracts changing hands.
The Fed has said it will raise rates for the first time since 2006 when it sees a sustained economic recovery with special emphasis on the job market and inflation.
U.S. data on Thursday suggested the labor market was gaining momentum in early September as fewer Americans filed for weekly unemployment benefits. But a separate report showed weak inflation, further clouding the outlook for what the Fed will decide to do at its Sept. 16-17 policy meeting.
"The market is in wait-and-see mode till the Fed meeting and till we get more news out of China," said Adam Sarhan, chief executive of Sarhan Capital in New York.
"The market is pausing to digest the steep August selloff and I expect the sideways action to continue for a while."
Data scheduled to be released on Friday includes the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index at 10 a.m. ET, which is expected to have slipped to 91.2 in early September from 91.9 in August. Also, the U.S. government is expected to post a budget deficit of $81.5 billion in August. That data is expected at 2 p.m. ET.
ZS Pharma was up 5% at $78.50 after Swiss drugmaker Actelion initiated talks that could lead to a bid for the U.S. biotech company.
Zumiez fell 19.6% to $17.40 after the sports apparel and accessories maker forecast third-quarter sales and profit below analysts' estimates.
Marvell Technology fell 17.2 percent and was set for their sharpest one-day drop in more than nine years after the company said it is investigating its accounting related to the recognition of certain revenues in the second quarter.