U.S. stocks were poised for a flat open on Friday, as futures pared losses after the latest flare of tensions between Ukraine and Russia, and ahead of a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen.
Futures initially lost ground after Ukrainian authorities said trucks from a Russian aid convoy had crossed into Ukraine without permission, which it termed a “flagrant violation” of international law and as the country appealed to the international community to condemn Russia’s actions as illegal and aggressive.
Market participants will closely monitor a speech Yellen is due to make at a policymakers’ meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, for insights into how soon interest rates may be raised. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi is also expected to speak.
The S&P 500 .SPX has risen for four straight sessions, its longest streak in two months, rallying to a record closing high of 1,992.37, on positive economic data. The benchmark index is up 1.9 percent for the week, on track for its best week in four months.
S&P 500 e-mini futures ESc1 were down 1.75 points and fair value – a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract – indicated a slightly lower open. Dow Jones industrial average e-mini futures 1YMc1 fell 7 points and Nasdaq 100 e-mini futures NQc1 were flat.
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