NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures jumped Thursday as the government reported that weekly applications for unemployment benefits hit a five-year low and the construction of new homes surged.
Dow Jones industrial futures rose 39 points to 13,476. The broader S&P futures added 6.7 points to 1,472.30. Nasdaq futures rose 13.5 points to 2,739.50.
Stocks were relatively flat before the housing and jobs data were released, weighed down by leaden quarterly performances from the nation's largest banks.
Citigroup fell short of Wall Street expectations for the fourth quarter, partly because of mounting legal expenses. Even excluding one-time charges in the quarter, the bank's per-share earnings were 28 cents below the predictions of analysts. Shares slid more than 2 percent before the opening bell.
Bank of America was dragged down by mortgage settlements in the fourth quarter, though it had already warned its shareholders of that. But the bank fell well short on revenue expectations and shares dipped.
Futures moved higher after the Commerce Department said that builders began work on new homes in December at the fastest pace since the summer of 2008.
How to Profit From Fracking and Shale. Access Our Free Report Here.