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U.S. futures up ahead of retail, inventory reports

Stock futures are rising ahead of a pair of government reports that economists believe will show a steady gain in spending by both consumers and businesses.

A board on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shows the closing number for the Dow Jones Industrial average Wednesday.

NEW YORK (AP) - Stock futures are rising ahead of a pair of government reports that economists believe will show a steady gain in spending by both consumers and businesses.

Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 26 points to 12,814 and Standard & Poor's 500 index futures are up 0.7 points at 1,365.70. Nasdaq composite futures are up 2.5 points to 2,696.

Economists think that retailers got a boost from Mother Nature in March as record-breaking warm temperatures throughout most of the country got more people out of their homes and into stores. The Commerce Department report is expected at 8:30 a.m. Eastern on Monday.

Commerce is also expected to report that U.S. companies rebuilt their stockpiles in February at a healthy pace, a sign that many are anticipating higher sales.


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