Futures rise as S&P 500 nears new high

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Associated Press

Posted on March 15, 2013 at 6:01 AM

Updated Friday, Mar 15 at 6:07 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. stock futures rose Friday as the government released a report showing that a spike in gas prices pushed overall consumer prices higher last month.

Dow Jones industrial futures rose 4 points to 14,456. The broader S&P futures gained 0.30 points to hit 1,556.30. Nasdaq futures rose 4 points to 2,804.

While futures do not always indicate where the market will go at the opening bell, the S&P closed within two points of its all-time high Thursday and appeared to be in position to test new ground Friday. The Dow extended its reach into new territory during a 10th consecutive day of gains.

The Labor Department said consumer prices increased a seasonally adjusted 0.7 percent last month from January, the biggest rise since June 2009.

However, gas prices rose 9.11 percent, driving the increase, after prices had fallen during the previous four months. That hike in gas prices represents three-fourths of the total consumer spending figure.

For example, food prices increased just 0.1 percent.

Later on Friday, the Federal Reserve posts industrial production numbers. Most economists believe output at the nation's factories, mines and utilities increased 0.3 percent last month.

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