US stocks were struggling for direction ahead of Friday's opening bell as traders refrained from making big bets ahead of the Federal Reserve meeting next week.
Dow Jones Industrial Average futures fell 20 points or 0.06%, S&P futures declined 3.75 points or 0.08% and Nasdaq futures decreased 15.50 points or 0.10%.
Investors will be tuning to the Federal Reserve's two-day policy meeting, which kicks off Tuesday, for fresh cues about the timeline of any future changes to its monetary stimulus.
Oil futures prices fell, with front-month global benchmarks Brent crude down 0.1% recently and US West Texas Intermediate down 0.6% recently.
At 10 am, data are expected to show a rise in the University of Michigan's US consumer sentiment index to 72.0 in the preliminary reading for September from August's 70.3 level, according to Bloomberg data.
In other world markets, Japan's Nikkei closed 0.6% higher, Hong Kong's Hang Seng closed 1% higher, and China's Shanghai Composite closed 0.2% higher. Meanwhile, UK's FTSE 100 gained 0.1% and Germany's DAX index gained 0.01% in Europe's early afternoon session.
On the winning side, Invesco (IVZ) shares rose 5% following media reports that the company is in talks with State Street's (STT) asset management subsidiary over a potential merger. Beigene (BGNE) shares surged 12% after the company received a positive opinion from a key European Medicines Agency committee recommending approval of brukinsa to treat Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia. Innate Pharma (IPHA) shares rallied 30.1% on positive phase 2 trial data for monalizumab plus durvalumab in non-small cell lung cancer patients.
On the losing side, United States Steel (X) shares fell 1.4% after the steel producer said its board has approved the site selection process for a planned $3 billion flat-rolled facility. Protagonist Therapeutics (PTGX) shares slumped 57% after the US Food and Drug Administration placed on hold the company's clinical studies of rusfertide.