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Wall Street was aimed for a higher open Friday as traders geared up for a key inflation report, a reading on consumer sentiment and restructuring news at


(F) - Get Ford Motor Company Report


Futures on the

S&P 500

were down 0.3 points at 1329.10, about 3 points above fair value. Nasdaq 100 futures were up nearly 3 points to 1647.50 and were 3 points ahead of fair value.

Later this morning, the Labor Department will release the consumer price index for August. Both the overall number and the core CPI probably rose 0.2% last month, economists believe.

The CPI report is one of the main clues investors use as they try to guess the direction of interest rates, and with a meeting of

Federal Reserve

policymakers on tap next week, the report could heavily influence trading in the coming days.

Last month, the central bank left its fed funds target rate unchanged at 5.25%. Prior to that gathering, the Fed had lifted rates by a quarter-point at every meeting going back to June 2004.

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Another factor that could affect the trading session is the pending simultaneous expiration of four different options. Set to trade for the last day are options on stock index futures, stock index options, stock options and single stock futures. The expiration of all four contracts, referred to as quadruple witching, happens quarterly.

Headlining the corporate news is Ford, where reports Thursday said the automaker reached an agreement with the United Auto Workers to offer buyouts to more than 75,000 hourly employees as part of a massive restructuring plan. Details of the plan are set to be released before trading begins.


News Corp.

(NWS) - Get News Corporation Class B Report

is reportedly in talks to trade its stake in




Liberty Media

(LBTYA) - Get Liberty Global Plc Class A Report

for Liberty's stake in News Corp.