NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures gave up some gains after the government said retail sales rose just slightly in December and thousands of workers who landed holiday jobs are back on the unemployment line.
Less than an hour before trading opens, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 9 points to 12,397. Futures for the broader S&P 500 index are up 2 to 1,290. Nasdaq composite futures have risen 5 to 2,372.
The Labor Department says applications for weekly unemployment benefits spiked, largely because companies let go of thousands of holiday hires.
Retail sales barely rose in December, the Commerce Department says, but the 8 percent gain in 2011 over 2010 is the largest percentage increase since 1999.
Most markets in Europe are higher after strong bond auctions in Italy and Spain.