Trump’s inaugural address could attract particular attention, with traders “looking for an indication on where the economy lands on his list of priorities and which policy changes he is likely to pursue first,” said Colin Cieszynski, chief market strategist at CMC Markets, in a note.
S&P 500 futures ESH7, +0.22% gained 5.65 points, or 0.3%, to 2,267.25, while Dow Jones Industrial Average futures YMH7, +0.05% added 14 points, or 0.1%, to 19,708. Nasdaq-100 futures NQH7, +0.26% tacked on 14.25 points, or 0.3%, to 5,067.75.
“The rubber hits the road, and markets shift from speculating on what he may do to reacting to what he actually does (or doesn’t do),” Cieszynski added.
The swearing-in ceremony is slated to begin at 11:30 a.m. Eastern Time.
On Thursday, the S&P 500 SPX, -0.36% , Dow DJIA, -0.37% and Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.28% all closed lower, shedding between 0.3% and 0.4%.
The three gauges are on track to lose between 0.5% and 0.8% for the week, as of Thursday’s close. The Dow on Thursday turned negative for the year to date, down 0.2%. All three benchmarks stand roughly 1% below their record closes achieved in recent weeks.
Read: How stocks perform in a new president’s first 100 days
And see: Trump inauguration sparks anxiety among some investors
Bill de Blasio, Robert De Niro lead protest against Trump's inaugurationMore than a thousand demonstrators joined New York Mayor Bill de Blasio and a number of celebrities in front of the Trump International Hotel and Tower, protesting Donald Trump's imminent inauguration.
Individual movers: Shares in IBM IBM, +0.01% traded 2% lower in premarket action, though they had jumped in late trading Thursday as the tech giant posted better-than-expected earnings. See:IBM at least has improved predicting its declining revenue
American Express Co.’s stock AXP, -1.03% also fell 2% premarket after the credit card company’s quarterly earnings missed forecasts, but revenue beat estimates.
Conglomerate General Electric Co. GE, -0.06% was among the companies expected to post earnings before the open. Read:GE earnings — here’s what to expect
Other markets: Oil futures CLG7, +1.11% traded higher, while European stocks SXXP, +0.04% edged up. Chinese stocks gained on stronger-than-expected economic growth to end 2016, but Asian shares overall logged modest declines. Gold futures GCG7, -0.18% declined, and a key dollar index DXY, +0.28% gained.
Economic news: Philadelphia Federal Reserve President Patrick Harker is due to give a speech to a New Jersey Bankers Association forum at 9 a.m. Eastern Time.
On Thursday, Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen indicated she was not worried about the surge in inflation and signaled she saw no reason to rapidly raise interest rates.
There are no releases of top-tier U.S. economic data expected.
Check out: MarketWatch’s Economic Calendar