By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch

U.S. stock futures struggled for direction on Friday, which could cloud chances for the Dow industrials' to mark a new closing high, though a surging dollar was prompting worries about exporters.

The fresh strength in the dollar comes after Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen signaled Thursday that a December interest-rate hike ( was likely to go ahead.

Futures pared losses from earlier. Dow Jones Industrial Average futures inched up 4 points to 18,844, while S&P 500 futures flat at 2,184.25. Nasdaq-100 futures rose 4.5 points to 4,833.24.

Wall Street finished a wobbly session slightly higher after Yellen's remarks on Thursday. The Dow ended up 0.2% at 18,903.82, just 20 points short of the all-time closing high, set Tuesday.

Need to know:The S&P 500 is also getting ever-so-close to a record (

On Friday, the ICE Dollar Index ( , which measures the currency against a basket of six rivals, shot above 100 to a fresh 13-year high . The greenback was trading at levels not seen in months against the Japanese yen .

"In a high-growth environment, it is likely we will see investors moving into the U.S. as a source of capital appreciation," said Joshua Mahony, market analyst at IG, in a note to clients.

"However, the hesitancy seen in U.S. stock markets is a clear nod to the fact that with such dollar appreciation comes an environment which is progressively more difficult for U.S. exporters," he added.

In a continuation of Thursday's action, the yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose 1 basis point to 2.31%.

Fed speakers ahead: Investors might look for guidance from more policy makers on Friday. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard said at a conference in Frankfurt that he's leaning towards the likelihood of an interest-rate hike in December, according to a report from CNBC (

Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan will speak at 1:30 p.m. Eastern Time in Houston, while Kansas City Fed President Esther George is set to talk at the Dallas Fed at 9:30 p.m. Eastern.

Also on the docket is Fed governor Jerome Powell, who is scheduled to appearat the San Francisco Fed at 9:45 p.m. Eastern.

The only major data release of note on Friday is a report on leading indicators, due at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Stocks to watch: Abercrombie & Fitch Co.(ANF) shares slid 10% in premarket as profit dived and the company announced a re-branding ( Foot Locker Inc.(FL) also fell after it announced results ( Inc.(CRM) rose 8% in premarket after the cloud-computing company posted rising revenue and boosted its outlook ( But shares of Applied Materials Inc.(AMAT) fell in after-hours trading after the chip-equipment maker missed expectations for new orders (

Read:Salesforce sets finish line in race to $10 billion (

Gap Inc.(GPS) slid 6% in premarket after the retailer posted a weak outlook. late Thursday. (

Other markets: European stocks ( pulled back slightly on Friday, led by banking and commodity names. European Central Bank President Mario Draghi ( signaled Friday that the central bank's stimulus will be extended for the region, whose economy remains clouded by risks.

Asian markets ( had a mixed day, though yen weakness gave a boost to the Nikkei 225 index , which rose 0.6%.

The dollar's move higher took a toll on gold ( , which dropped $11.80, or 1%, to $1,205.30 an ounce. Oil ( slipped 11 cents to $45.28 a barrel.

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 18, 2016 07:52 ET (12:52 GMT)

Copyright (c) 2016 Dow Jones & Company, Inc.