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Futures Steady Data Ahead Fed Speakers & Initial Claims

MADRID (MarketWatch) — U.S. stock market futures moved higher on Thursday ahead of a key indicator of consumer spending, along with data on weekly jobless claims and a trio of Federal Reserve speakers.

Futures for the Dow industrials (CBE:DJU3)  rose 25 points to 14,849, while those for the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (GLC:SPU3)  gained 2.9 points to 1,598.40. Futures for the Nasdaq 100 index (GLC:NDU3)  rose 5 points to 2,885.

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Those gains came on the heels of another strong day for Wall Street, after a downward revision to growth data fueled hopes that the Fed will pare its bond-buying program later rather than sooner.

“Clearly investors are now hoping that the Federal Reserve will rethink their decision to taper stimulus measures and instead will continue with such measures, which seem to be the key catalyst driving the markets at the moment,” said Shavaz Dhalla, financial trader at Spreadex, in a note.

Investors will get another batch of data Thursday. The last big indicator of the week comes at 8:30 a.m. Eastern Time, when consumer spending numbers will be released by the Commerce Department. Economists polled by MarketWatch expect spending to rise 0.3% in May, with incomes up 0.2%.

At the same time, weekly jobless claims are expected to show a drop to 345,000 from 354,000 the prior week.

Figures on pending home sales will be released by the National Association of Realtors at 10 a.m. Eastern.

Also due to attract attention, three Fed speakers are on the calendar: New York President William Dudley at 10 a.m. Eastern, followed by Fed Gov. Jerome Powell at 10:30 a.m. Eastern and Atlanta Fed President Dennis Lockhart at 12:30 p.m. Eastern

BloombergEnlarge Image

A “for sale by owner” sign stands outside a home in LaSalle, Illinois, U.S., on Friday, June 7, 2013.

On Wednesday, Wall Street stocks jumped after a revision to gross domestic product data calmed worries that scaling-back of the Federal Reserve’s bond-buying program would come soon. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI:DJIA)  finished with a gain of 149.83 points, or 1%, at 14,910.14.

The S&P 500 (SNC:SPX)  climbed 15.23 points, or 1%, to 1,603.26.

In overseas markets Thursday, Japan and Korean stocks rallied on the heels of that U.S. growth data and Fed-related hopes, though mainland Chinese shares continued to struggle. MostEuropean stocks rose, but gains weren’t enough to push indexes into the black as investors awaited U.S. data.

In other markets, gold prices pushed higher as investors stepped in after nearly a 4% drop to multiyear lows in Wednesday’s session. Crude-oil futures rose, aiming for a fourth straight day of gains as Fed tapering fears calmed.

The dollar fell across the board after six straight days of gains.

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