Wall Street points to higher open ahead of earnings season kickoff

U.S. stock index futures

Stock futures move higher

U.S. stock index futures were higher on Monday morning, as investors braced for the fourth-quarter earnings season that kicks off with the results from big banks later this week.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC), Citigroup (NYSE: C), Bank of America (NYSE: BAC), Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), BlackRock (NYSE: BLK), and Goldman Sachs (NYSE: GS) are all scheduled to publish their reports on Tuesday and Wednesday.

By 4:30 a.m. ET, the blue-chip Dow futures jumped 103 points, or 0.36% to 28,880. The S&P 500 advanced 10.87 points, or 0.33% to 3,275.62 while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures were up 38.25 points, or 0.43% to 9,016.50.

U.S.-China trade deal

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump is set to sign the phase one trade deal between the U.S. and China at the White House on Wednesday.

Last week, China confirmed that Vice Premier Liu He will lead a delegation to Washington from Monday to sign the deal. The Trump administration has invited about 200 people for the signing ceremony.

Although details of the scope of the deal are unclear, investors hope it will be a remarkable step toward ending the 18-month trade war that has weighed on markets and global economic growth.

The English-language text of the deal will be published at the ceremony, according to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin who spoke to Fox News Channel on Sunday.

Anti-government protest grip Iran over the shooting down of Ukrainian jet

Elsewhere, anti-government protests have erupted in Iran after the government admitted it unintentionally downed a passenger plane belonging to Ukraine International Airlines that had 176 people on board.

Protesters want those responsible for the crash to face the law and the country’s supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to step down. Videos circulating on social media appear to show Iranian police firing bullets and tear gas at protesters in Tehran.

President Trump expressed his support for the protesters on Sunday, writing on his Twitter account: “To the leaders of Iran – DO NOT KILL YOUR PROTESTERS. Thousands have already been killed or imprisoned by you, and the World is watching. More importantly, the USA is watching. Turn your internet back on and let reporters roam free! Stop the killing of your great Iranian people!”