US STOCKS-Futures climb ahead of holiday-shortened session

Fri Nov 23, 2012 8:28am EST
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* Retailers in focus with Black Friday underway

* Greece says IMF relaxes debt-cutting target

* RIM shares surge 14 pct on new product optimism

* Futures up: Dow 10 pts, S&P 3.7 pts, Nasdaq 8.5 pts

By Leah Schnurr

NEW YORK, Nov 23 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures gained modestly Friday ahead of an abbreviated session on Wall Street, on signs of progress in talks about releasing aid to Greece, and with the U.S. retail sector in focus as the holiday shopping season begins.

The U.S. equity market was closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday, and trading Friday will end early at 1:00 pm ET (1800 GMT).

Greece said the International Monetary Fund had relaxed its debt-cutting target for the country, suggesting lenders were closer to a deal for a vital aid tranche to be paid. But other sources involved in the talks cautioned the funding gap was far bigger than Greece has suggested.

Euro zone finance ministers, the IMF and European Central Bank (ECB) failed earlier this week to agree on how to get the country's debt down to a sustainable level and will have a third attempt at resolving the issue on Monday.   Continued...