Wall Street was poised for a flat open on Friday after government data on consumer prices suggested U.S. inflation will remain mild, even with evidence of a stabilizing economy.
All three major U.S. stock index futures added modest losses after the data report, but the broader S&P 500 futures index was still above fair value.
Investors are focusing now on consumer sentiment data that could offer a better picture of the strength of consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity. Economists look for a reading of 68.5 compared with 66.0 in the final July report.
CPI was pretty much in line with expectations ... a nonevent, said Terry Morris, senior vice president at National Penn Investors Trust Co in Reading, Pennsylvania.
It is a sign that inflation is not a threat yet ... There's been some talk of inflation down the road, (but) I think that's premature. The fact that it didn't disappoint is a good thing.
Major retailer JC Penney Co Inc
Abercrombie & Fitch Co
The Federal Reserve is to release industrial production and capacity utilization data for July at 9:15 a.m. EDT. A Reuters survey of economists showed an 0.3 percent rise in production and a reading of 68.3 percent for capacity utilization.
S&P 500 futures were down 1.50 point, but above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures were off 28 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures were down 12.25 points. (Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)