US STOCKS-Futures jump in wake of Bernanke comments

Thu Jul 11, 2013 7:22am EDT
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* Costco June sales top expectations

* Initial claims, import-export prices due

* Bernanke comments cool stimulus-slowing ideas

* Futures up: Dow 129 pts, S&P 16 pts, Nasdaq 26.75 pts

By Chuck Mikolajczak

NEW YORK, July 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures climbed on Thursday, after comments by U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke indicated the central bank was unlikely to scale back its stimulus measures as early as recently expected.

* Bernanke, at an economic conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts on Wednesday, said a highly accommodative monetary policy was needed for the foreseeable future, and that the U.S. unemployment rate of 7.6 percent was overstating the health of the job market.

* The Fed chairman's comments sent the dollar lower and boosted commodities such as gold and copper. U.S.-listed shares of Barrick Gold climbed 4.6 percent to $14.65 while Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold gained 2.4 percent to $28.26 in premarket trade.

* The S&P 500 has risen 2.4 percent over the past five sessions, the longest winning streak for the benchmark index since early March, as investors have been encouraged by improving economic data and in anticipation of a better-than-expected earnings season.   Continued...