Stock futures trade lower to end the week

Earnings are due Friday from Deere & Co and Foot Locker

U.S. equity futures are trading lower ahead of the final trading session of the week.

The major futures indexes suggest a decline of 0.4% when the opening bell rings on Wall Street.

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Wall Street closed out another choppy day of trading on Thursday. The benchmark S&P 500 started the day in the red before gaining 0.1% to 4,405.80.

The Nasdaq composite also inched 0.1% higher to 14,541.79. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.2% to 34,894.12. All three indices were positioned for weekly losses.

Ticker Security Last Change Change %
I:DJI DOW JONES AVERAGES 35621.01 +163.70 +0.46%
SP500 S&P 500 4536.43 +16.80 +0.37%
I:COMP NASDAQ COMPOSITE INDEX 15122.049597 -7.04 -0.05%

Positive earnings reports from retailers lifted sentiment. Meanwhile, the Labor Department reported another weekly drop in the number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits. Claims fell 29,000 to 348,000 last week, in a pandemic low. This brought the four-week average to 378,000, also a pandemic low.

There are no economic reports scheduled for Friday.

FED SIGNALS TAPERING COULD COME THIS YEAR

Earlier this week, minutes from a recent U.S. Federal Reserve meeting showed that officials had discussed reducing asset purchases this year. But they stopped short of setting a firm timeline.

The Fed's symposium at Jackson Hole starting next Thursday could offer hints on when tapering will begin.

Earnings are due Friday from Deere & Co and also Foot Locker.

In Europe, London's FTSE was off 0.2%, Germany's DAX fell 0.3% and France's CAC declined 0.3%.

In Asia, Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 1%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong gave up 2% and China's Shanghai Composite Index gave up 1.1%.

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In energy trading, benchmark U.S. crude slipped 40 cents to $63.29 a barrel. Brent crude, the international standard, gave up 47 cents to $65.98 a barrel.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.