Futures Remain Flat After Economic Data
U.S. stock index futures remained largely unchanged following the latest round of economic reports, with the S&P 500 within 2 points of hitting its all-time closing high.
Traders reacted little to a morning economic report showing inflation, though pushed higher by surging gas prices, remained within parameters allowing the Federal Reserve to continue its ultra-easy monetary policy.
The pace of manufacturing in the New York state slipped to 9.24 in March from 10.04 in February, according to the New York Federal Reserve. Economists expected a reading of 10.
(Read More: Stocks Could Hit New High With US Data on a Roll)
Meanwhile, industrial production grew 0.7 percent in February, according to the Federal Reserve, topping estimates for a gain of 0.4 percent. Manufacturing output rose 0.8 percent during the month, snapping back from a decline in January.
The University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment preliminary survey will be released at 9.55 a.m. ET. Analysts polled by Reuters expect the index to rise slightly to 78.0 in March, up from 77.6 in February.
Meanwhile, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Bank of America were among names whose capital plans were approved. but BB&T and Ally Financial did not pass.
Investors in Europe booked gains after a 10-day global rally. U.S. shares closed at record levels on Thursday, but markets were disappointed by President Barack Obama who seemed no closer to striking a deal on deficit reduction after a long session in Capitol Hill.
This week's final trading day will also feature the quarterly "quadruple witching" options and futures expirations. Quadruple witching is associated with market volatility as investors seek to rebalance their portfolios. (CNBC Explains: Witching Hour)