* Retail sales, U.Mich consumer sentiment survey headline
* U.S., Russia to push for new Syria peace talks
* Intel climbs in premarket after upgrade
* Futures: Dow up 1 pt, S&P off 1.8 pts, Nasdaq up 1.75 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Sept 13 U.S. stock index futures were
little changed on Friday, ahead of data on retail sales data and
consumer sentiment may help investors assess the probability the
Federal Reserve may trim its stimulus measures next week.
* Data expected at 8:30 a.m. (1230 GMT) includes retail
sales and the producer price index for August. Retail sales
expectations call for a 0.4 percent rise compared with a 0.2
percent increase in July. PPI is expected to climb 0.2 percent
versus the unchanged July reading.
* The S&P 500 is up 1.7 percent for the week and has
risen in seven of the past eight sessions, as fears about
military action by the West against Syria receded and data
showed China's economy may be improving.
* Later in the session at 9:55 a.m. (1355 GMT), investors
will eye the Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan preliminary
consumer sentiment index for September. Economists in a Reuters
survey expect a reading of 82.0 compared with 82.1 in the final
* The cluster of data may help shape investor opinion on the
potential for a cut in stimulus by the Federal Reserve when it
ends a two-day policy meeting on Sept 18.
* The Fed currently purchases $85 billion a month in
Treasury and mortgage bonds in its effort stimulate the economy.
A recent Reuters poll on Monday showed economists at a majority
of U.S. primary dealers expect the Fed to announce it will cut
its bond purchases by $10 billion.
* However, some recent economic data, including last week's
disappointing payrolls report, has created some uncertainty
surrounding any expected action by the Fed.
* U.S. crude fell 0.9 percent as concerns about Syria
retreated. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and Russian
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov agreed on Friday to push again
for an international conference aimed at ending Syria's civil
* Business inventories for July are due at 10 a.m. (1400
GMT), with estimates showing an expected rise of 0.2 percent
against the unchanged June reading.
* U.S. stocks slipped on Thursday, ending seven straight
days of gains by the S&P 500 index as a drop in precious metal
prices dragged mining shares lower.
* S&P 500 futures rose 1.8 points and were slightly
above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking
into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on
the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 1
point, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 1.75 points.
* Intel Corp shares gained 1.9 percent to $23.06 in
premarket trade after Jefferies boosted its rating on the
chipmaker to "buy" from "hold" and upped its price target to $30
* European stocks dipped in early trade, halting their
week-long rally, although the retreat was limited by M&A
activity in the health care sector.
* MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan
shed 0.8 percent, pulling further away from a
three-month high and on track for a second losing day after a
10-day winning streak.