Wall Street monitors speech by Fed leader Jerome Powell

The U.S. stock index futures were higher Friday morning as market participants waited for a key speech from the Federal Reserve's top official.

Around 03:00 ET, Dow futures rose 108 points, indicating a positive opening of more than 92 points. Futures for S&P and Nasdaq were both slightly higher.

The market focus is largely aligned with the US Central Bank's annual Jackson Hole symposium, with Fed Chairman Jerome Powell expected to address an audience of politicians and economists around 10 p.m.

Powell faces the tough challenge of presenting a unified vote on Fed policy from the most divided US central bank this year.

It comes as both the Fed and Powell are under a unique siege from an angry president, while a speech that fails to reassure investors that the US central bank will continue to cut interest rates could create even more market volatility.

As of Friday morning, the Fed Funds futures priced nearly 90% for a 25 basis point interest rate cut at the September meeting, and between one or two additional quarterly rate cuts between then and the end of the year.

On the data front, new home sales for July will be released around 1[ads1]0:00 ET. [19659002] In business news, Foot Locker, Buckle and Red Robin Gourmet Burgers are expected to report their last quarterly results before the opening clock.

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