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US Futures Head Higher, Again

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ U.S. stock futures rose Wednesday with President Barack Obama's $3.77 trillion spending plan arriving in Congress. Fierce negotiations over spending cuts and higher taxes are expected.

Dow Jones industrial futures rose 42 points to 14,652. The broader S&P futures tacked on 4.4 points to 1,567.60. Nasdaq futures are up 9.5 points to 2,807.

Minutes from the U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy meeting in March are also due. A dismal jobs report Friday doused expectations that the aggressive monetary policies being used to push the recovery forward would be pared back.

The Fed has vowed to continue its massive bond purchases to keep money flowing in the markets and to keep interest rates low, at least until unemployment falls to 6.5 percent.

The Labor Department said Friday that unemployment fell to a four-year low of 7.6 percent in March, but that was only because many people gave up on looking for a job.

Early reports for the new earnings season continued to roll out Wednesday.

There will likely be some pressure on the stocks in the dollar store sector after Family Dollar fell short of Wall Street earnings expectations for the second quarter and cut its outlook for the year.

Many analysts expect a subdued quarter for retailers because of a slow start to spring this year, as well as ongoing financial hardships for many consumers.

Bed Bath & Beyond reports earnings after the closing bell.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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