Stocks: Investors pack up for the holidays

@CNNMoneyInvest December 23, 2011: 8:48 AM ET

Click on the chart for more premarket data.

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- U.S. stocks were set to open higher, as investors digest reports on personal spending and income, and await more housing data.

The Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures were higher ahead of the opening bell. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.

On Thursday, stocks finished a quiet session higher, after a stronger-than-expected reading on unemployment boosted investor optimism.

The government reported that the number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits dropped to its lowest level since April 2008. There were 364,000 initial jobless claims last week, 4,000 fewer than the week prior.

What the payroll tax deal would do

Investors got more good news after Thursday's market close, as House Speaker John Boehner said that he would accept a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut, a move that ensures taxes will not increase on Jan. 1.

The source of much angst on Capitol Hill in recent weeks, economists viewed the scheduled tax increase as a significant potential drag on the economy in the first quarter of next year.

World markets: European stocks were higher in morning trading. Britain's FTSE 100 (UKX) ticked up 1%, the DAX (DAX) in Germany added 0.4% and France's CAC 40 (CAC40) gained 1.2%.

Asian markets ended higher, with Tokyo closed for holiday. The Shanghai Composite (SHCOMP) rose 0.9% and the Hang Seng (HSI) in Hong Kong jumped 1.4%.

Economy: Before the opening bell, the Commerce Department reported durable goods rose 3.8% in November. Economists surveyed by had expected durable goods to rise 2.0%.

Both personal income and personal spending rose 0.1% in November. After the opening bell, a report on new home sales will be issued.

Currencies and commodities: The dollar lost strength against the euro, the British pound and the Japanese yen.

Oil for February delivery rose 46 cents to $99.86 a barrel.

Gold futures for February delivery fell $2.70 to $1,607.70 an ounce.

Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury was little changed, with the yield holding steady at 1.95% from late Thursday.  To top of page

Index Last Change % Change
Dow 30,932.37 -469.64 -1.50%
Nasdaq 13,192.34 72.96 0.56%
S&P 500 3,811.15 -18.19 -0.48%
Treasuries 1.46 -0.06 -3.82%
Data as of 8:59pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
Ford Motor Co 8.29 0.05 0.61%
Advanced Micro Devic... 54.59 0.70 1.30%
Cisco Systems Inc 47.49 -2.44 -4.89%
General Electric Co 13.00 -0.16 -1.22%
Kraft Heinz Co 27.84 -2.20 -7.32%
Data as of 2:44pm ET
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed3.80%3.88%
15 yr fixed3.20%3.23%
5/1 ARM3.84%3.88%
30 yr refi3.82%3.93%
15 yr refi3.20%3.23%
Rate data provided
View rates in your area
Find personalized rates:

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor's and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices © S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.