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US futures point to cautious open as solid third quarter winds down

U.S. stock index futures were set to open little changed Friday, the last trading day of a solid third quarter of gains for stocks.

The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones industrial average were on pace for their eighth-straight quarter of gains, up nearly 3.6 percent and about 4.8 percent, respectively.

Markets are also focusing on the tax reform plans and what will happen to them when they enter Congress. The reform plans, which promise lower tax rates for corporations and individuals, could be watered down or fail to pass at all; the administration and the Republicans have struggled to pass major legislation this year.

The dollar index, which has gained around 1 percent this week thanks to the Federal Reserve's indications for monetary policy tightening, may also be having an impact on those firms which rely on foreign earnings.

Dow futures pointed to an opening decline of about 18 points, while the S&P 500 futures indicated a roughly 1 point opening decline for the index. Nasdaq 100 futures pointed to an opening gain of about 9 points.

The S&P 500 set a record close Thursday.

In economic news, personal income in August rose 0.2 percent, as expected. The closely watched personal consumption expenditures index, excluding food and energy, rose 1.3 percent in the 12 months through August, the slowest since November 2015, according to the Department of Commerce.

The Chicago purchasing managers' index for September and the final reading of consumer sentiment will also be published.

Treasury yields traded slightly lower after climbing this week.

In Europe, the pan-European Stoxx-600 index was around 0.03 percent. In Asia, the Shanghai composite in China closed slightly higher, while the Nikkei in Japan closed 0.03 percent lower.

In oil markets, Brent crude traded about half a percent lower around $56.90, while U.S. crude traded slightly lower near $51.42.