Stock futures little changed as oil prices edge up


U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday as oil prices edged up and ahead of economic data and speeches by Federal Reserve policymakers.

Crude oil bounced off this week’s 10-month lows, although prices were still set for their worst first-half performance since 1997. [O/R]

Sliding oil prices have added to concerns on the inflation outlook, which along with a flattening yield curve, could pose a challenge to the Federal Reserve in deciding whether the economy was ready for another interest rate hike this year.

At current levels, the S&P 500 energy index .SPNY, down 15 percent so far this year, is on track to post its worst weekly decline in about 18 months.

Wall Street ended flat on Thursday, but healthcare stocks rallied as Senate Republicans unveiled legislation that would replace Obamacare with a plan that scales back aid to the poor and kills a tax on the wealthy.

The Fed’s annual stress test results showed that 34 largest…

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