The Federal Reserve stays in focus, as Wall Street closes out a volatile week with slight losses.
Friday's session ended with a last-minute push that pulled benchmark indexes from the day's lows. The S&P 500 was down 0.38%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 0.49%, and the Nasdaq slid 0.10%.
Investors have been bracing for the outcome of the Fed's September rates meeting all week, leading to a more volatile couple of days than has recently been seen. Retail sales, producer prices and industrial production in August each came in weaker than expected on Thursday, reducing the chances the Fed will feel confident enough to raise rates next week.
The chances of a rate hike in September sit at 12%, according to CME Group fed funds futures. Most analysts are betting on a December hike.
"It's looking very unlikely that the Fed will raise rates this month," Brett Diment, head of emerging market debt at Aberdeen Asset Management, wrote in a note. "They've put a massive emphasis on communicating their thinking in recent years and all the signals are suggesting that they won't hike now but may do in December."
Members of the Federal Open Market Committee will convene on Tuesday morning for a two-day meeting, culminating in an announcement on Wednesday afternoon. Fed Chair Janet Yellen will also hold a press conference on Wednesday.
Crude oil tumbled on Friday, after the latest data showed the number of active oil rigs in the U.S. climbed over the past week. Weekly data from Baker Hughes showed the number of oil rigs climbed by 2 to 416, its 11th increase in 12 weeks. Oil has been under pressure, particularly this week, with little relief to U.S. stockpiles and fading hopes of a production freeze agreement when Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries informally meet later this month.
West Texas Intermediate crude was down 2% to $43.03 a barrel on Friday.
The energy sector was among the worst performers on markets Friday. Major oil companies including Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A - Get Report) , PetroChina (PTR - Get Report) , Chevron (CVX - Get Report) , Total (TOT - Get Report) and BP (BP - Get Report) moved lower, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE - Get Report) slid 0.65%.
Consumer prices rose more than expected in August, a sign for the Fed that inflation trends are moving in the right direction. The Consumer Price Index last month increased 0.2%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, higher than an expected 0.1% increase. Excluding food and energy, core prices rose 0.3%. Consumer prices have climbed 1.1% over the past 12 months, or 2.3% excluding food and energy.
Consumer sentiment remained steady in September, according to the University of Michigan's Consumer Survey. Sentiment held at 89.8 in September, below an expected increase to 90.8. Consumers' outlook on the economy remained optimistic, while income expectations dipped.
Intel (INTC - Get Report) rose after lifting its third-quarter sales expectations. The tech company said it now anticipates revenue to be $15.6 billion, with a $300 million buffer, higher than a previous estimate of $14.9 billion, with a $500 million buffer. Consensus was for $14.87 billion. The company said it has seen improving PC demand and the "replenishment of PC supply chain inventory." Third-quarter earnings will be released on Oct. 18.
Oracle (ORCL - Get Report) fell after missing analysts' estimates on its top- and bottom-lines. The software company earned an adjusted 55 cents a share, 3 cents below consensus. Revenue climbed nearly 2% to $8.6 billion, but missed by $100 million. Oracle's investments in cloud technology paid off with revenue in the unit climbing 59% to $969 million.
DepoMed (DEPO) jumped on reports it is preparing itself for sale after pressure from activist investor Starboard. The negotiation process will begin once the drugmaker has determined patent exclusivity of its chronic pain drug Nucynta, according to Reuters.
Twitter (TWTR - Get Report) climbed following the successful launch of its first live stream of Thursday Night Football. The platform received mostly positive tweets throughout last night's game, which was relayed from CBS' broadcast. Thursday's game was the first of 10 that Twitter will stream.
Unilever (UL) fell on reports it is in talks to acquire Honest Co., the consumer-products retailer co-founded by actress Jessica Alba. The Wall Street Journal reported that the owner of Dove could make a play worth more than $1 billion. The talks are at an early stage, and Honest hasn't ruled out going for an initial public offering instead.
New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an investigation into why Exxon Mobil (XOM - Get Report) has not written down any of its assets over the past two years, the only oil company not to do so amid the commodities crash. The investigation joins a separate dig from Schneiderman's office into Exxon's knowledge of climate change effects.
Deutsche Bank (DB - Get Report) slumped 10%, its largest decline since the Brexit decision in June, after the bank said that the U.S. Justice Department would level a $14 billion charge following an investigation into residential mortgage-backed securities. Deutsche Bank said it was not willing to settle the claim at the number cited and noted that "negotiations are only just beginning."
Trading was slightly more erratic on Friday during the quadruple-witching session, one of four days of the year in which futures and options contracts expire at once.