Futures rise after big holiday shopping weekend

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures are rising Monday after a strong start to the U.S. holiday shopping season.

Initial reports show a record number of shoppers visited stores and websites during the four-day holiday weekend. That’s welcome news with consumer spending accounting for about 70 percent of U.S. economic activity.

Markets in Europe are also up sharply amid signs that European leaders were making progress toward resolving the continent’s debt crisis. Jitters about Europe contributed to last week’s nearly 5 percent drop in U.S. stock indexes.

Less than two hours before the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 239 points, or 2.1 percent, to 11,426. S&P 500 index futures are up 31, or 2.7 percent, to 1,184. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 52 points, or 2.42 percent, to 2,199.5.