Investors await Bernanke
Futures edge higher ahead of Fed chief's speech. Oil slips after sharp climb. Financial worries persist.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Stock futures rose early Friday, ahead of a speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke.
Less than three hours before the start of trading, Nasdaq and S&P futures were higher and suggesting a positive open for Wall Street.
Stocks ended Thursday's volatile session mixed amid a spike in crude prices and persistent worries about the financial sector.
A slight easing in oil prices and strengthening of the dollar helped lift sentiment ahead of Bernanke's speech.
Bernanke: The central bank chief is due to deliver the keynote address at the Fed's annual Jackson Hole symposium.
Bernanke is set to address financial stability when he gives the speech at 10 a.m. ET.
Mortgage giants: Fears that a government bailout of mortgage finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is imminent have rattled investors and sent shares of the two firms tumbling.
Lehman: The Wall Street investment bank has been hit hard by worries about its ability to withstand mounting losses.
Oil: Crude prices slipped after spiking nearly $6 during Thursday's session.
U.S. crude for October delivery fell 66 cents to $120.52 a barrel in electronic trading. The contract surged $5.62 overnight to settle at $121.18 a barrel.
Verizon-Google: Verizon Communications (VZ, Fortune 500) is close to an agreement with Google (GOOG, Fortune 500),according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. The deal would make Google the default search provider on Verizon devices, the report said.
Other markets: Stocks in Asia ended mostly lower. European markets rose in midday trading.