December 23, 2011

Stock futures rise on improving US outlook

Markets look to build on Thursday's strong US economic data. European markets gain. Wall Street awaits data on durable goods orders, personal income and new home sales. Oil rises, while gold falls.

U.S. stock futures were rising as investors anticipated another round of domestic economic data that would fuel more optimism at home.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average ($INDU +0.51%) were up 55 points at 12,158. Futures for the S&P 500 ($INX 0.00%) were up 7.1 points at 1,256 and futures for the Nasdaq ($COMPX 0.00%) were up 9.5 points at 2,270.

On Thursday, the Dow and S&P 500 extended their third straight day of gains, adding to common belief in the so-called Santa Claus rally of year's end. Most of the exuberance seemed to be fueled by positive data points from the U.S. as well as a lack of negative headlines out of Europe.

Germany's DAX was up 0.41%, while London's FTSE was up 1%. Overnight, Japan's Nikkei Average settled 0.8% lower, and Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index closed up 1.37%.

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