U.S. Stock Futures Maintain Gains as American Retail Sales Rise

U.S. stock futures maintained gains after data showed retail sales rose in January for a third consecutive month.

Standard & Poor’s 500 Index futures expiring in March added 0.2 percent to 1,518.60 at 8:33 a.m. in New York.

The 0.1 percent climb in retail sales followed an unrevised 0.5 percent increase in December, Commerce Department figures showed today in Washington. The advance matched the median forecast of 80 economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Retailers such as Gap Inc. and Target Corp. are getting a sales boost as job gains support household disposable income, helping to counter the effects of the higher payroll levy in January.

Equity futures rose earlier today as President Barack Obama proposed spending on infrastructure and environmental projects in his State of the Union address.

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