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Futures rise ahead of Trump's inauguration

By Yashaswini Swamynathan

U.S. stock index futures treaded water on Friday ahead of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the 45th U.S. President.

* Futures also got a lift after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen backed her stance for gradual interest rate increases on Thursday.

* 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 be keenly watching Trump’s inaugural speech for more insight on 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.

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

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

* Investors are also analyzing a thrush of quarterly earnings reports from Dow components. IBM (IBM.N) slipped 1.5 percent to $164.23 premarket after the company reported its 19th quarter of sales decline. * American Express (AXP.N) lost about 2 percent after the company reported a quarterly profit that missed expectations. * General Electric (GE.N) was off half a percent at $31 after the company reported a drop in revenue. * No key economic data is scheduled for the day

Futures snapshot at 6:56 a.m. ET:

* Dow e-minis 1YMc1 were up 2 points, or 0.01 percent, with 19,222 contracts changing hands.

* S&P 500 e-minis ESc1 were up 4 points, or 0.18 percent, with 89,583 contracts traded.

* Nasdaq 100 e-minis NQc1 were up 11.75 points, or 0.23 percent, on volume of 14,586 contracts.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)

Reuters