US stock futures rises on upbeat retail sales

<p>US retail sales jumped in November and unemployment claims were down last week.</p>

US stocks rose today (December 11th) after the release of data showing US retail sales were up in November. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.17 per cent to 17,739.00 at 10:30 ET. The S&P 500 added 1.09 per cent, to 2,027.92 and the Nasdaq gained 1.24 per cent to 4,742.20.

Figures from the Commerce Department revealed sales rose 0.7 per cent last month, the largest increase in eight months. In addition, the National Retail Federation told CNBC its forecast "is right on track" for a 4.1 per cent sales growth this holiday season.

"The retail sales report provides a bit of a boost to fourth-quarter GDP estimates, which have moved lower in recent days. Further, it perhaps provides some evidence for a boost to broader consumer spending in the face of the gasoline-price decline," Dan Greenhaus, chief strategist at BTIG, told the news source.

Meanwhile, the Labor Department reported that fewer Americans filed unemployment claims last week. The number of Americans filing for unemployment benefits fell to a three-week low. Jobless claims decreased by 3,000 to 294,000 in the week ended December 6th. The data may fuel speculation that the Fed will adjust its language regarding interest rates when policymakers meet next week.

The rebound comes as fresh falls in oil prices led Wall Street to close at its lowest since October yesterday, with the energy sector tumbling on a nearly five per cent drop for US crude-oil prices. The S&P 500 index fell 1.6 per cent in its biggest one-day percentage drop since October 13th.

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