Wall Street was facing a downbeat end to the week on Friday, with investors staying on the sidelines ahead of inflation data, seen as a factor in the Federal Reserve's interest rate deliberations.
Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 49 points, or 0.3%, to 18,066, while those for the S&P 500 index dropped 6.15 points, or 0.3%, to 2,131.50. Futures for the Nasdag-100 index gave up 11 points, or 0.2%, to 4,802.75.
On Thursday, U.S. stocks finished higher as an Apple Inc.-inspired (AAPL) rally in the tech sector helped to lift the broader market.
"As markets increasingly consolidate, it appears as though traders are now just preparing for the FOMC and BOJ meetings next week," said Richard Perry, market analyst at Hantec Markets, in a note.
The U.S. Federal Open Market Committee and the Bank of Japan both wrap up their policy meetings on Wednesday next week. The BOJ is seen as easing policy slightly, while the Fed is widely expected to keep rates on hold. The CME FedWatch tool is currently showing a 12% probability of a rate hike at the Sept. 20-21 meeting.
There are no Fed speakers ahead of the meeting, as the central bank is in its blackout period.
"Perhaps the final game-changer could be U.S. CPI inflation, released [premarket Friday]. But once more, there is little expectation of any pick-up that would shout out for a rate hike," Perry said.
Economic docket: The inflation data for August are due at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, and they are expected to show consumer prices rose 0.1% month-on-month. Core inflation -- which strips out volatile items such as energy and food prices -- is forecast to come in at 0.2%.
A reading on consumer sentiment for September is due at 10 a.m. Eastern, followed by data on household net worth for the second quarter at noon.