U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday after Bank of America Corp said it would repay $45 billion in taxpayer bailout funds.
Bank of America
The Select Sector SPDR Financial ETF
The news out of Bank of America and most likely the economic data continuing to show the economy is in a growth mode means we are looking at a market that will move higher, said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Avalon Partners in New York.
The risk factor continues to grow, which is supporting higher equity prices.
Investors awaited data on productivity, weekly jobless claims and ISM non-manufacturing index as well as November same-store sales from major retail chains. Early data from Thanksgiving weekend shopping from Thursday through Sunday showed only a slight increase in sales, pressuring retailer shares.
S&P 500 futures rose 4.5 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 37 points, while Nasdaq 100 futures added 4 points.
Costco Wholesale Corp
Luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers Inc
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will go before lawmakers considering his nomination to a second term at the central bank's helm.
European shares edged higher for a third consecutive session Thursday as Bank of America boosted financials. [ID:nGEE5B20SR] Asian stocks also advanced, led by a nearly 4 percent jump in the Nikkei index.
The Nasdaq rose Wednesday as strong online holiday sales boosted retailers, while the Dow edged lower as falling oil prices prompted a sell-off in energy shares, and the Standard & Poor's 500 finished flat.
(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)