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Futures up ahead of a trio of economic indicators

FILE - In this Tuesday, May 28, 2013, file photo, trader William McInerney works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stock markets were mostly higher Thursday June 27, 2013 after the U.S. said quarterly growth may be weaker than expected, raising investors' hopes that the Federal Reserve would delay plans to wind down its stimulus program. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stock futures are rising as investors await a trio of economic reports, particularly one on consumer spending, after surprisingly sluggish economic growth during the first-quarter.

Consumers pulled back more sharply than was expected at the beginning of the year, the U.S. government reported Wednesday, and most economists cite higher taxes that went into effect in January.

Dow Jones industrial futures are up 24 points to 14,848. S&P futures have added 3.1 points to 1,598.60. Nasdaq futures are up 4.5 points to 2,887.50.

Economists expect the Commerce Department to report Thursday that Americans began spending again in May, thanks to modest pay increases.

That's critical for any recovery as consumer spending drives 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

Also on Thursday, the government releases reports on unemployment benefit applications and pending home sales.