US STOCKS-Futures climb with initial claims, spending data on tap
* Initial claims, personal income data on tap
* Fed Presidents Lockhart, Dudley to speak
* Futures up: Dow 63 pts, S&P 8.8 pts, Nasdaq 14.75 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, June 27 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures rose on Thursday, indicating the S&P 500 may climb for a third consecutive day, ahead of data on the labor market and consumer spending.
Data expected at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT) includes weekly initial jobless claims, and personal income and spending for May. Economists surveyed by Reuters forecast a total of 345,000 new jobless filings compared with 354,000 in the prior week. Personal income is expected to rise 0.2 percent and spending is expected to show a 0.3 percent gain.
"It will be interesting to see if we get better-than-expected numbers (whether) good news remains good news," said Art Hogan, managing director at Lazard Capital Markets in New York.
"If the market has gotten to that point where we rest expectations, where tapering is actually good news because the economy is improving, it's a healthier place to be. When you are in that environment of 'bad news is good news' because you expect more monetary policy, that is counter-intuitive in the long run."
The benchmark S&P 500 had dropped as much as 4.8 percent since the June 19 statement from the U.S. Federal Reserve, when Chairman Ben Bernanke said growth was strong enough for the Fed to start slowing its stimulative bond purchases later this year. However, the index has climbed 1.9 percent over the past two sessions as economic data and comments from Fed officials quelled fears over an earlier-than-expected pullback of stimulus. Continued...