On the economic front, the U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $38.5 billion in December, shrinking to its narrowest in three years, according to the Commerce Department. Economists had expected a deficit of $46 billion, according to a Reuters survey. The report suggests the U.S. government could upwardly revise its advance reading for fourth-quarter GDP, which showed the economy contracted at a 0.1 percent annual rate.
Later this morning, the Commerce Department is scheduled to release wholesale inventories for December at 10 am ET. Inventories are expected to be up 0.4 percent versus a 0.6 percent gain in November, according to a Reuters poll.
Among earnings, Moody's edged lower even after the credit ratings agency topped earnings expectations and forecast strong 2013 earnings.
Just a few months after the disruption caused to the economy by Superstorm Sandy, a snowstorm of "historic proportion" is expected to hit New York and the New England area on Friday night. The New York Stock Exchange said it will be "business as usual" as the storm approaches.
In Europe, a two-day European Union (EU) summit continued in Brussels, the first since Prime Minister David Cameron confirmed Britain will hold a referendum on EU membership. Early on the day, EU leaders agreed to the framework for a new 960 billion euro ($1.3 trillion) budget, to be finalized later on Friday.