(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures inched higher on Friday as banking shares rose on the first major release of the earnings season and geopolitical tensions and concerns over tit-for-tat trade tariffs retreated.
JPMorgan rose 0.56 percent premarket after the biggest U.S. bank by assets reported a 35 percent surge in quarterly profit.
Shares of Wells Fargo and Citigroup, which are also set to report earnings later, were also higher.
Hopes are that tax cuts will help corporate America post its biggest quarterly profit growth in seven years. Earnings at the S&P 500 companies are estimated to grow by 18.4 percent from a year earlier.
By 7:02 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 69 points, or 0.28 percent, S&P 500 e-minis rose 8.25 points, or 0.31 percent, Nasdaq 100 e-minis gained 8.5 points, or 0.13 percent.
Stocks got a boost on Thursday after U.S. President Donald Trump cast doubt over the timing of his threatened strike on Syria, easing the risk of clashes between Western powers and Russia in Syria over an alleged chemical attack.
Talks of the United States re-opening negotiations with the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a multinational trade deal the Trump administration walked away from last year, also helped sentiment.
But he later tweeted that the United States would only join the TPP if the deal were substantially better than the one offered to former President Barack Obama.
Among other stocks, Starbucks shares fell 1.3 percent after brokerage Cowen and Co downgraded the stock to “market perform”.
Reporting by Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila