Stock futures pare gains after economic reports

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NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures remain slightly higher after the government said claims for unemployment benefits rose unexpectedly last week.

The Labor Department said Thursday morning that first-time claims for unemployment benefits rose by 11,000 to 428,000 last week. Economists had forecast that applications would drop. A surprise reading often sets the tone for stock market trading later in the day.

After the figures on unemployment benefits were released, stock futures dropped but still remained higher.

Less than an hour before the opening bell, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 24 points, or 0.2 percent, to 11,198. S&P 500 index futures are up 2, or 0.2 percent, to 1,184. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 9, or 0.4 percent, to 2,255.

In a separate report, consumer prices rose 0.4 percent in August. That’s slightly more than economists expected.

Reports on industrial production and regional manufacturing are due out later Thursday morning. Industrial growth is expected to have risen at a slower pace in August amid stock market volatility and renewed worries about the U.S. economy’s strength. The Federal Reserve will release the report at 9:15 a.m. Eastern time.

A show of support by Germany and France for Greece lifted stocks on Wednesday. The Dow has jumped 3 percent over three straight days of gains but is still down for the month.