U.S. Markets open in 2 hrs 36 mins

US stock futures rising ahead of key job report

FILE - In this Thursday, Nov. 14, 2013, file photo, Jimmetta Smith, of Lithonia, Ga., right, the wife of a U.S. Marine veteran, holds her resume while talking with Rhonda Knight, a senior recruiter for Delta airlines, at a job fair for veterans and family members at the VFW Post 2681, in Marietta, Ga. The Labor Department issues the November jobs report on Friday, Dec. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)

NEW YORK (AP) -- U.S. stock futures are heading solidly higher for the first time this week before the Labor Department releases its final monthly employment report of the year.

Markets will also absorb federal data being released Friday on consumer borrowing and spending.

Dow Jones industrial futures are up 57 points to 15,874. S&P futures have gained 7.7 points to 1,791.70. Nasdaq futures are up 12 points to 3,490.75.

Economists expect the country added 180,000 jobs last month on the heels of a robust October, when employers hired 204,000 people.

If forecasts hold true, it would actually be the fourth consecutive month of strong job gains, though unemployment remains uncomfortably high at 7.3 percent. Most expect that figure to drop to 7.2 percent.

Economists also expect Americans spent and borrowed more in October.