The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Stock futures are rising ahead of the opening bell on Wall Street, helped by a report that the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits last week fell more than expected.
KEEPING SCORE: The Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 48 points to 16,454 as of 9 a.m. Eastern. The Standard & Poor's 500 index futures rose 4.3 points to 1,836 and the Nasdaq futures gained 7.25 points to 3,572.00.
MORE ECONOMIC GOOD NEWS: The number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits fell by 15,000 last week to a seasonally adjusted 330,000. The drop was slightly bigger than economists predicted, according to FactSet. They were looking for weekly jobless claims to come in at 333,000. The claims report sets the stage for Friday's closely-watched government jobs report for December, which is expected to show the economy created 196,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate remained at 7 percent.
MACY'S LAYOFFS: Macy's shares were up 6 percent in premarket trading after the company said it would cut 2,500 jobs as part of a reorganization. Macy's said the moves will save it $100 million per year. The company also forecast a 2014 profit that was above Wall Street's forecasts.
EARNINGS SEASON STARTS: The vast majority of the S&P 500 members will announce their quarterly results starting Thursday. Alcoa, an aluminum maker and former Dow Jones industrial average component, will report its earnings after the closing bell.