US Futures are Higher to Start a Holiday-Shortened Week

US futures are higher to start a holiday-shortened week.  US markets look to open strong as earnings season kicks into gear, despite fears of upcoming government shutdown.  Lawmakers need to come to agreement on a funding bill by Friday to avoid a shutdown.  According to some reports, there is potential for another short-term extension to fund the government through February 16.  On the data front, the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for January came in below expectations at 17.7, while analysts were looking for 19.  There is no other economic data to be reported today.  European shares are higher on earnings and easing inflation data in the U.K..  Asian shares closed mostly higher as technology shares gained.

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