Stock Futures Higher On Fed's Outlook

Stock futures are sharply higher, a day after investors welcomed upbeat comments from the Federal Reserve.

With the Fed reinforcing beliefs that the economy is stabilizing, investors will look for further clues about the nation's recovery Thursday when the government releases data on jobless claims and retail sales.

A new retail sales report is expected to show consumers boosted their spending in July, while the Labor Department is expected to say the number of newly laid-off workers filing for unemployment benefits fell slightly last week.

Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 79, or 0.9 percent, at 9,398. Standard & Poor's 500 index futures are up 8.80, or 0.9 percent, at 1,011.00, while Nasdaq 100 index futures are up 13.50, or 0.8 percent, at 1,632.25.

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