* Futures up: Dow 18 pts, S&P 2 pts, Nasdaq 8 pts
By Tanya Agrawal
May 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were little changed on Friday as cautious investors braced for a speech by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen and the second reading of gross domestic product data for the first quarter.
* Yellen is due to speak at an event hosted by Harvard University at 1:15 p.m. ET (1715 GMT). Her speech comes after a number of Fed policymakers this week struck hawkish tones on the timing of interest rate hikes.
* Investors have grown more comfortable with expectations the central bank could raise interest rates as soon as June, with many taking the view that such a hike would reflect improvement in the country’s economy.
* A Fed rate hike in June was seen as highly unlikely as recently as early May. However, the Fed funds futures are now pricing in a 26 percent chance of a rate hike in June and 46 percent in July after a string of strong data and comments from policymakers.
* The Fed next meets on June 14-15.
* Investors will also keep an eye on the second reading of the March quarter U.S. gross domestic product. Economists polled by Reuters expect the economy to have grown at 0.9 percent, up from 0.5 percent - its slowest pace in two years. The data is expected at 8:30 a.m. ET.
* The University of Michigan’s final consumer sentiment index likely cooled a bit to 95.4 in May from a preliminary reading of 95.8 earlier this month. That data is expected at 10 a.m. ET.
* Wall Street closed mostly flat on Thursday as investors took a breather following two days of strong gains.
* Shares of cyber security firm Palo Alto were down 10.9 percent at $131.75 in premarket trading after posting a wider-than-expected quarterly loss.
* GameStop fell 7.6 percent to $27.70 after the video-game retailer forecast lower-than-expected revenue and profit for the current quarter.
* U.S-listed shares of Valeant Pharmaceuticals were up 5 percent at $28.30 after sources said the drugmaker rejected a joint takeover offer from Japan’s Takeda Pharmaceutical and TPG Capital Management.
* Ulta Salon Cosmetics and Fragrance was up 8.6 percent at $232 after the beauty product retailer raised its full-year forecast.
Futures snapshot at 7:12 a.m. ET:
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 2 points, or 0.1 percent, with 92,864 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 8 points, or 0.18 percent, on volume of 13,872 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were up 18 points, or 0.1 percent, with 12,443 contracts changing hands. (Reporting by Tanya Agrawal; Editing by Anil D‘Silva)