US stock futures point to higher open

Associated Press
FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, file photo, trader Nicholas DeStafano, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stock markets were higher Friday Feb. 7, 2014 in anticipation of a positive U.S. jobs report for January. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)
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FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2014, file photo, trader Nicholas DeStafano, center, works on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. Global stock markets were higher Friday Feb. 7, 2014 in anticipation of a positive U.S. jobs report for January. (AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

The U.S. stock market was poised for a higher open Thursday after encouraging news on U.S. retail sales.

KEEPING SCORE: Dow Jones industrial average futures rose 37 points, or 0.2 percent, to 16,376 as of 9:18 a.m. Eastern time. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures edged up five points, or 0.3 percent, to 1,872. Nasdaq futures gained 12 points, or 0.3 percent, to 3,719.

RETAIL REBOUND: The Commerce Department said Thursday that seasonally-adjusted retail sales rose 0.3 percent in February as Americans spent more on auto, clothing and furniture. Spending had fallen 0.6 percent in January. The February increase suggests that spending has started to recover after being tempered by snowstorms and freezing temperatures that blanketed much of the country.

EUROPE: European stock markets were mixed. The FTSE 100 index of leading British shares was down 0.2 percent. Germany's DAX rose 0.3 percent. The CAC-40 in France was up 0.1 percent.

ASIA: Earlier, Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.1 percent while Hong Kong's Hang Seng sank 0.7 percent. In mainland China, the Shanghai Composite rose 1.1 percent.

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