4 Min Read
* Oil rises slightly from 10-month lows
* Banks stocks up after stress test results
* Caterpillar off 1 pct after downgrade
* Dow down 27 pts, S&P up 1.25 pts, Nasdaq down 3.5 pts (Adds details, comments, updates price)
By Sruthi Shankar
June 23 (Reuters) - Wall Street was set to open little changed on Friday as investors awaited economic data and speeches by Federal Reserve policymakers for clues on interest rate hikes amid concerns over oil prices.
Crude oil prices bounced off this week's 10-month lows, but were still set for their worst first-half performance in almost two decades.
Sliding oil prices have added to concerns on the inflation outlook, which along with a flattening yield curve, could pose a challenge to the Fed in deciding whether the economy was ready for another interest rate hike this year.
"There is a concern that economy maybe struggling slightly, with oil prices hitting lows," said Andre Bakhos, managing director at Janlyn Capital in Bernardsville, New Jersey.
"If it's a supply problem, it's wonderful for the market," he said. "If it is demand that is starting to wane, then it's going to create more questions than give us answers."
At current levels, the S&P 500 energy index, down 15 percent so far this year, is on track to post its worst weekly decline in about 18 months.
U.S. stocks ended flat on Thursday, but healthcare stocks rallied as Senate Republicans unveiled legislation that would replace Obamacare with a plan that scales back aid to the poor and kills a tax on the wealthy.
Dow e-minis were down 27 points, or 0.13 percent, with 20,134 contracts changing hands at 8:24 a.m. ET (1224 GMT).
S&P 500 e-minis were up 1.25 points, or 0.05 percent, with 91,204 contracts traded.
Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 3.5 points, or 0.06 percent, on volume of 21,194 contracts.
Shares of Bank of America, JPMorgan, Wells Fargo and Goldman Sachs were up between 0.75 percent and 1 percent in premarket trading, following the Fed's stress test results on Thursday. The results showed that 34 largest U.S. banks have all cleared the first stage, implying they would be able to maintain enough capital in an extreme recession.
St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, Cleveland Fed chief Loretta Mester and Fed governor Jerome Powell are all scheduled to make appearances later in the day.
Economic data due includes new U.S. single family home sales for May at 10:00 a.m. ET. The reading is expected to show that single family home sales likely grew 5.4 percent.
Separately, data firm Markit's preliminary services PMI is expected to have increased to 53.7 in June, from a prior reading of 53.6.
U.S.-listed shares of Blackberry were down 4.16 percent at $10.60 premarket after the company's quarterly revenue missed analysts' estimate.
Caterpillar declined 1.05 percent to $102.75 following a Deutsche Bank downgrade to "hold".
Bed Bath & Beyond was down 10.05 percent after the home furnishing retailer reported a bigger-than-expected fall in same-store sales in the first quarter. (Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)