Futures higher ahead of data on mood of consumers

US futures edge up ahead of data from US and retailers that may hint at consumer confidence

Associated Press
Stocks retreat as Europe, earnings weigh
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FILE - In this Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012 file photo, traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York. Stock markets around the world are mixed, Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013. Investors in Japan took profits following a huge rally, while those in China pulled back ahead of a weeklong holiday. However, European markets are higher in early trading. Futures point to a rise when trading opens on Wall Street Thursday morning. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)

NEW YORK (AP) -- Stock futures are moving higher with new data expected to show fewer Americans seeking unemployment benefits and another rise in consumer borrowing.

Dow Jones industrial futures are up 19 points to 13,947. The broader S&P futures have added 2.7 points to 1,509.50. Nasdaq futures are up 3.75 points to 2,741.

Economists expect the Labor Department to report Thursday that applications for unemployment benefits dropped 8,000 to a seasonally adjusted 360,000 last week.

The Federal Reserve will release its consumer borrowing report for December, and economists expect to see an increase of $14.4 billion, mostly in student and auto loans. Americans still appear unwilling to take on much credit card debt.

Investors, in addition to government data being released, are awaiting retail sales numbers from January.

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