NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were higher on Thursday as U.S. retail sales climbed and weekly jobless claims remained near 15-year lows.

S&P 500 futures were up 0.11%, Dow Jones Industrial Average futures climbed 0.15%, and Nasdaq futures gained 0.18%. 

Retail sales rose 1.2% in May, according to the Department of Commerce, proof consumers were beginning to loosen the purse strings after months of conservative spending. The measure was expected to increase 1.1% after a flat reading in April. Excluding volatile items such as automobiles and food, retail sales increased 0.7%.

Weekly jobless claims increased 2,000 to 279,000 for the week ended June 6. Economists expected the number of people applying for unemployment benefits to have increased to 220,000. 

Stocks shrugged off the malaise that has pressured Wall Street over the past few sessions to rise sharply on Wednesday. Investors piled into equities as crude oil secured a close above $61 a barrel and Greece's future brightened. The Dow recovered its 18,000 level. Click here for more.

Krispy Kreme (KKD) jumped in premarket trading after beating first-quarter earnings estimates. The doughnut chain earned 24 cents a share, 2 cents higher than forecast, while sales increased 9%. 

Box (BOX) surged after reporting a first-quarter loss of 28 cents a share, 3 cents narrower than expected. Revenue of $65.62 million surged nearly 45% from a year earlier. The company, which went public earlier this year, also provided stronger-than-expected guidance. 

European Union antitrust regulators are reportedly set to issue objections to General Electric's (GE) bid for Alstom's power unit as soon as Friday, according to Reuters. GE plans to purchase the power equipment arm for around $14 billion in a multi-step plan to move away from finance and further into industrials. 

Separately, EU regulators have announced an investigation into Amazon's  (AMZN) e-book business, determining whether the giant has used its position to edge out competitors. The EU has been fixed on bringing multinational tech behemoths such as Apple (AAPL), Facebook (FB) and Google (GOOGL) to task over tax and antitrust issues.

After its bid was rejected by Syngenta's (SYT) board, Monsanto (MON) is taking its pitch directly to the herbicide company's shareholders. The company will argue the benefits of an acquisition to investors this week in meetings in Europe. 

Nike (NKE) jumped more than 1% in premarket trading after sealing a merchandising and marketing deal with the NBA over the eight years. The partnership will begin in the 2017-18 season. 

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