Wall Street set to rise ahead of Trump inauguration

Investors will focus on Mr Donald Trump's inaugural speech to get more insight into his economic policies. PHOTO: AFP

BENGALURU (Reuters) - US stocks looked set to advance on Friday (Jan 20), with investors counting down to Donald Trump's inauguration as the 45th president of the United States.

Trump, a New York businessman and former reality TV star, is scheduled to be sworn in around midday by Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts in Washington.

Investors will focus on Trump's inaugural speech to get more insight into his economic policies.

"All eyes will be on the content and style of Trump's inauguration speech," Morgan Stanley strategists led by Hans Redeker wrote in a note.

"The more 'Presidential' this speech comes across, the better the outcome for markets."

Trump's campaign promises of tax and regulatory reforms and higher infrastructure spending had driven Wall Street to multiple highs post-election. However, the Trump trade has been unraveling in recent weeks as investors wait to see how he will carry out his ambitious plans.

US stocks closed lower on Thursday as strong economic data was overshadowed by investor caution ahead of Inauguration Day.

Index futures were up on Friday, a day after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen backed her stance for gradual interest rate increases.

Dow e-minis were up 11 points, or 0.06 per cent at 8:21 am ET (9:21pm Singapore time), with 22,464 contracts changing hands.

S&P 500 e-minis were up 4.5 points, or 0.2 per cent, with 107,969 contracts traded.

Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 12.5 points, or 0.25 percent, on volume of 17,160 contracts. "I would expect an extremely calm day," said Brad Lamensdorf, chief executive officer of Active Alts Inc.

"Usually these type of events are highly publicised so people are very distracted during the day and I wouldn't expect a lot of volatility."

The dollar index edged up for the third straight session, after dropping to its lowest in over a month on Tuesday on Trump's comments on the currency's strength.

Investors are also analysing a thrush of quarterly earnings reports from Dow components. IBM slipped 1.3 percent to US$164.35 premarket after the company reported its 19th quarter of sales decline.

American Express lost about 2 per cent after the company reported a quarterly profit that missed expectations.

Procter & Gamble rose 2.7 per cent after the consumer products maker reported quarterly sales and profit above expectations.

General Electric was off 1.4 per cent after the industrial conglomerate reported a drop in quarterly revenue.

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