* Yellen to speak at 1:00 p.m. ET
* Fed Vice Chairman Fischer set to speak at 12:30 p.m ET
* Futures down: Dow 1 pt, S&P 4.25 pts, Nasdaq 11.5 pts
(Adds details, comments, updates prices)
By Sweta Singh
March 3 The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were set to
open slightly lower on Friday, as investors remained cautious
ahead of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech, which
could give more clarity on the possibility of an interest rate
hike later this month.
Her speech comes after several other Fed officials this week
painted an upbeat picture of the U.S. economy, stoking market
expectations for a March rate hike.
Yellen is set to speak at 1:00 p.m. ET (1800 GMT) at the
Executives Club of Chicago.
Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer, who has backed raising
interest rates, is also scheduled to give a keynote address on
monetary policy in New York at 12:30 p.m. ET.
Traders have priced in a 76 percent chance of a rate hike
this month, compared with roughly 30 percent at the start of the
week, according to Thomson Reuters data.
"The retreat in the indices this morning suggest investors
are becoming more aware of the fact the interest rate trade is
likely to weigh in the coming days," Peter Cardillo, chief
market economist at First Standard Financial wrote in a note.
"We suspect she will likely suggest a rate hike this month."
U.S. stock markets closed down on Thursday, as financials
declined after surging a day earlier on increased expectations
of a rate hike in March.
Investors also await a report from the Institute of Supply
Management on its non-manufacturing index for February, which is
expected to remain unchanged at 56.5. The data is expected at
10:00 a.m. ET (1500 GMT).
The dollar index, which measures the greenback's strength
against a basket of six major currencies, was poised for its
fourth straight weekly gain, though it was about 0.1 percent
lower on Friday.
Dow e-minis were down 1 point at 8:43 a.m. ET, with
34,739 contracts changing hands. S&P 500 e-minis were
down 4.25 points, or 0.18 percent, with 168,869 contracts
traded. Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 11.5 points, or 0.21
percent, on volume of 27,662 contracts.
Among stocks, Snap Inc, which closed up more than
40 percent in its much-awaited market debut on Thursday, was up
3.4 percent at $25.32 premarket.
World's largest advertising group WPP's U.S.-listed shares
were down 8.2 percent at $107.35 after it cut its 2017 net sales
Discount retailer Big Lots was up 5.2 percent at
$54.99 after reporting a slight uptick in comparable store
American Outdoor Brands' shares were down 7.5
percent at $17.93 as the firearm maker's full-year forecast
(Reporting by Sweta Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj