By Silvia Amaro, CNBC–

U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Friday morning with corporate release set to take center stage alongside the release of nonfarm payrolls data.

As of 3:00 a.m. ET, Dow futures traded 51 points higher, indicating a positive open of 71.33 points. S&P 500 futures were also in positive territory while Nasdaq futures suggested a lower open.

On Thursday, Wall Street closed in positive territory, seeing its best January since 1987. Strong earnings and an indication from the Federal Reserve that it will pause rate hikes boosted investor confidence.

Money managers are keeping an eye on trade talks between China and the United States. Both negotiating teams have said they made “important progress.” President Donald Trump also said he would soon meet with Chinese premier Xi Jinping to try to reach a comprehensive trade deal. Stocks had taken heart from the possibility of top-level trade talks over the coming weeks, but the upbeat mood soon cooled when the White House insisted it sees March 1 as a hard deadline for a deal.

Earlier on Friday, a survey showed Chinese factory activity falling to its lowest level since February 2016. The downbeat data exacerbated fears of an economic slowdown.

In terms of U.S. data, the employment report will be out at 8.30 a.m. ET. Analysts are unsure what to expect, in the wake of the recent government shutdown. There is also an ISM index due out at 10 a.m. ET.

Chevron, Exxon Mobil, Honda Motor and Sony are due to report before the bell. Johnson Controls and Madison Square Garden will update investors after the bell.

—CNBC’s Sam Meredith contributed to this article.