NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were rising early Thursday, breaking free from a lethargic session a day earlier in which benchmark indexes closed flat.
S&P 500 futures were up 0.56%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures added 0.57%, and Nasdaq futures climbed 0.66%.
U.S. producer prices fell for the seventh time in nine months in April, down 0.4%, as lower gas and food costs continue to cause headwinds for the economy. Economists had expected no change after a 0.2% increase in March.
Weekly jobless claims remained at a 15-year low, indicative of a tightening labor market. The number of people applying for unemployment benefits in the week ended May 9 fell 1,000 to 264,000. Economists had expected claims to rise to 275,000.
Positive earnings reports also were helping to drive markets higher. Shake Shack (SHAK) surged nearly 7% in premarket trading after reporting its first quarterly results since going public. The burger chain earned 4 cents a share, better than an estimated loss of 3 cents, while revenue jumped 56.3% from a year earlier.
J.C. Penney (JCP) added 2% after reporting a loss of 55 cents a share, far narrower than estimates of a loss of 77 cents. Revenue climbed 2% to $2.857 billion.
They weren't all winners though. Kohl's (KSS) fell more than 10% after sales missed estimates. The retail chain reported revenue of $4.12 billion, up 1.2% from a year earlier, though revenue fell short of estimates by $70 million. Comparable-store sales rose 1.4% in its fiscal first quarter.