NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were trading higher on Thursday as retail sales for November beat expectations and jobless claims fell more than expected. Benchmark indices are on a three-day losing streak, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average losing more than 260 points on Wednesday after commodity prices crashed.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.14%, Dow futures added 0.12%, and Nasdaq futures rose 0.05%.
Lower gasoline prices benefited the rise in retail sales, which climbed 0.7% in November compared to forecasts for a 0.4% rise. Consumer spending contributes more than two-thirds of GDP.
Weekly jobless claims slipped to 294,000, slightly lower than an estimated 295,000 claims. The weekly measure fuels further confidence in a tightening job market after nonfarm payrolls for last month came in at a three-year high with 321,000 U.S. jobs added.
Crude prices remained at five-year lows, though West Texas Intermediate saw a 0.5% bounce on Thursday morning to $61.25 a barrel. A day earlier, prices crashed 5% as OPEC cut its demand forecast for 2015.
Walgreen (WAG) shares were advancing 1.4% in premarket trading after CEO Greg Wasson announced his retirement, effective once the company's merger with Alliance Boots is completed.
Staples (SPLS) and Office Depot (ODP) were spiking after activist investor Starboard Value substantially raised its stake in both, a move which could put pressure on the companies to merger, The Wall Street Journal reported.