US pre-open: Futures higher as Biden enters the White House
Wall Street futures had stocks opening higher ahead of the bell on Thursday after major indices hit fresh record highs on Inauguration Day.
As of 1230 GMT, Dow Jones futures were up 0.28%, while S&P 500 and Nasdaq-100 futures had the indices opening 0.29% and 0.43% firmer, respectively.
The Dow closed 257.86 points higher on Wednesday as market participants focussed on President Joe Biden's inauguration in Washington DC.
Almost immediately after taking the oath of office, Biden released details of his Covid-19 plan, detailing ten executive orders that would increase testing, speed up the rate of vaccinations, provide further funding to local officials and utilise the Defense Production Act to manufacture additional supplies, including masks.
With total confirmed coronavirus cases in the US nearing 25.0m, claiming the lives of more than 415,894 Americans in the processs, investors will now be keen to see if Biden can push his proposed $1.9trn Covid-19 relief bill through Congress.
CMC Markets' David Madden said: "The feel-good factor from the inauguration of Joe Biden as US President is in circulation. Recently, there has been a lot of talk that Mr Biden will be keen to ramp up government spending as a way of ensuring the US economic recovery continues.
"Last week, Mr Biden announced a $1.9trn stimulus plan and that has been the main driver of equity sentiment. The new US President will try to heal domestic issues with respect to economic and social divisions. In addition to that, his handling of international relationships is likely to be much more tactful than his predecessor Mr Trump."
On the macro front, weekly jobless claims data, January's Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index and monthly building permits and housing starts numbers will all be published at 1330 GMT.
In the corporate space, United Airlines shares were in the red after falling short of both top and bottom-line expectations in its latest quarter.
Baker Hughes, Union Pacific and Citrix will report before the open, while IBM, Intel, CSX and Seagate will all post earnings after the close.