U.S. Stock Futures Trim Gains After Retail Sales Growth Trails Estimates

U.S. stock-index futures trimmed gains after government data showed retail sales climbed less than economists forecast in November.

Futures on the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index expiring in March rose 0.5 percent at 8:32 a.m. in New York after earlier climbing as much as 0.7 percent.

The 0.2 percent gain in retail sales followed a 0.6 percent advance in October that was more than initially reported, Commerce Department figures showed. Economists projected a 0.6 percent November increase, according to the median forecast in a Bloomberg News survey. Purchases excluding automobiles also rose 0.2 percent.

The S&P 500 slipped 1.5 percent yesterday, retreating after a back-to-back weekly gain, as Moody’s Investors Service and Fitch Ratings said the Dec. 9 euro-area accord failed to ease the debt crisis and Intel Corp. cut its revenue forecast.

The Federal Reserve may keep its target rate in a range of zero to 0.25 percent at a policy meeting today, according to a Bloomberg News survey. Chairman Ben S. Bernanke and his policy- making colleagues meet today to discuss the outlook for an economy that has strengthened since their November gathering. The Federal Open Market Committee will announce its interest- rate decision at 2:15 p.m. in Washington.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael P. Regan at mregan12@bloomberg.net

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