NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures slid Thursday as prospects for a budget deal and a stream of healthy economic news upped the odds that the U.S. will begin weaning the economy off of its aggressive monetary policies.
Dow Jones industrial futures are down 21 points to 15,815. S&P futures have lost 2.3 points to 1,778.50. Nasdaq futures are down 1.25 points to 3,469.25.
The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits surged last week, though that may be attributable to delays from the Thanksgiving holiday.
The Labor Department said the less volatile four-week average rose 6,000 to 328,750, which is about where the U.S. was before the recession.
There was welcome news for retailers, which can be seen as a proxy for the mindset of Americans regarding the economy.
Consumers ratcheted up spending on appliances, furniture and cars in November. Spending has been muted for months heading into the crucial holiday shopping period.
The Commerce Department reported Thursday that retail sales rose 0.7 percent, the biggest gain in five months. October sales were also revised higher.