U.S. stock index futures held their modest gains Friday following the housing starts report and after major averages logged their biggest drop since June.
On the economic front, housing starts rose 5.9 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 896,000 units in July, according to the Commerce Department, which was less than the expected 900,000 unit rate expected by economists polled by Reuters. June's starts were revised up to show a 846,000-unit pace instead of the previously reported 836,000 units.
And nonfarm productivity rose in the second quarter at a 0.9 percent annual rate as output increased more than hours worked, according to the Labor Department. Economists polled by Reuters had expected productivity to gain at a 0.6 percent rate.
In addition, the University of Michigan's consumer sentiment survey will be released at 9:55 am ET. Economists surveyed by Reuters expect a reading of 85.5 compared with 85.1 in the final July report.