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Futures up as US earnings season ramps up

July 15, 2013

NEW YORK (AP) — Stock futures rose Monday as the corporate earnings season kicked into high gear and the government reported that retail sales increased last month.

Citigroup easily topped most expectations for the second quarter and its shares rose 2 percent before the opening bell.

Dow Jones industrial futures rose 37 points to 15,406. S&P futures added 3.9 points to 1,674.20. Nasdaq futures rose 6.75 points to 3,068.75.

While retail sales are up, much of that increase was driven by higher gas prices and volatile auto sales. Core retail sales rose just 0.15 percent, the weakest showing since January.

The report from the Commerce Department showed some weakness at retail stores, particularly department stores.

The government report is the first look each month at the mood of consumers, who have proven surprisingly resilient given higher taxes and a stubbornly high unemployment rate.

Markets are still being buoyed by comments from the chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve last week. Chairman Ben Bernanke said the government remains committed to stimulus efforts and would not ease up on a bond-buying program that has infused global markets with cash.

Bernanke begins two days of testimony on Capitol Hill Wednesday, one of two addresses the Fed provides to Congress regarding monetary policy.

Earnings reports on tap this week include Coca-Cola, Goldman Sachs, Johnson & Johnson, Bank of America, Google and Microsoft. General Electric caps off the week Friday.

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