U.S. stock futures edged lower Friday, putting the equity market on track to catch its breath after three straight days of gains.
Stocks remain set for a sizable weekly win, which has come as traders cheer the Federal Reserve's latest policy announcement. The Fed on Wednesday stood pat on interest rates, but also indicated confidence in the U.S. economy and signaled a rate rise could come by year's end.
Investors on Friday are waiting for a report on manufacturing due after the opening bell, as well as a number of Federal Reserve speakers and a reading on North America's oil-rig count.
S&P 500 futures declined by 2.80 points, or 0.1%, to 2,165.50, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures shed 12 points, or 0.1%, to 18,287. Nasdaq-100 futures lost 6 points, or 0.1%, to 4,880.25.
On Thursday, the S&P 500 closed 0.7% higher, and the Dow gained 0.5%, or 99 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite added 0.8% and notched another record closing high, as the S&P finished 0.6% below its mid-August record close, and the Dow ended 1.3% off its peak. The three gauges were up between 1.5% and 1.8% for the week, as of Thursday's close.
With stocks rallying in the past week, Bank of America Merrill Lynch strategists have warned about the potential for too much exuberance. BAML's "Bull & Bear Indicator" is in neutral territory, but "we expect this to rise in coming weeks as investor bullishness begins to rise," possibly resulting in a "sell signal," said Michael Hartnett and his team in their weekly "Flow Show" note.
Other markets: Oil prices retreated, weighing on sentiment. Analysts said investors were cashing in on gains, as they approached next week's much-anticipated meeting of major oil producers with caution and skepticism. European stocks retreated, while Asian markets closed mixed. The ICE U.S. Dollar Index was little changed, and gold prices were down modestly.
Economic news: A September release on Markit's purchasing managers index for manufacturing is slated to hit at 9:45 a.m. Eastern Time. The FactSet consensus forecast is for a reading of 52.
A Baker Hughes report on North America's oil-rig count is expected to come at 1 p.m. Eastern.
On the Fed front, Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker is due to give a speech at noon Eastern in Philly about the central bank's role. Shortly after that, he is slated to speak on a panel with Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart and Cleveland's Loretta Mester. Meanwhile, Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan is expected to take part in a Q&A at 12:30 p.m. Eastern at an energy industry forum in Texas.