U.S. stock index futures edged higher on Friday, helped by higher oil prices, and ahead of a closely watched vote on a healthcare bill seen as a test of President Donald Trump’s ability to pass his legislative agenda through Congress.
It was not clear late on Thursday evening that Trump and Republican leaders had enough support to pass the bill, with Trump warning lawmakers from his party that he will leave Obamacare in place if they do not rally around him.
* Investors fear that if Trump fails to get the bill through the Republican-controlled Congress, it would mean his pro-growth agenda of tax reform, infrastructure spending and capital repatriation will face setbacks.
* Those fears pushed Wall Street on Tuesday to its worst one-day loss since before the U.S. presidential election. All three major indexes are on track to post their first monthly declines since October.
* The CBOE Volatility index, Wall Street’s “fear gauge”, closed at its highest level since Jan. 19 on Thursday.