talking the market up

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    Futures point to higher open ahead of Thanksgiving holiday; loads of economic data due.
    November 27, 2002: 5:48 AM EST

    NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - U.S. investors will get to digest three day's worth of economic news Wednesday, including important readings on the job market and consumer sentiment, ahead of their Thanksgiving feasts on Thursday.

    Early signs point to a higher start for Wall Street after Tuesday's pullback, according to S&P and Nasdaq futures.

    U.S. financial markets are closed Thursday and the stock market is due to close early Friday, so a number of reports due later this week have been pushed up to Wednesday.

    The government's weekly jobless claims report is due for release before the market opens, for example. Economists surveyed by expect the number rose to 383,000 for last week from 376,000 the prior week.

    Personal income and spending figures are also due before the opening bell. Personal spending probably rose 0.3 percent last month, according to forecasts, after falling 0.4 percent in September. Economists estimate that personal incomes edged up 0.1 percent.

    The barrage of economic data comes after the Dow Jones industrial average sank nearly 2 percent and the Nasdaq composite index slid 2.5 percent Tuesday.

    Overseas Wednesday, stocks rose in Japan, but other Asian markets stalled. European markets opened lower. Among U.S. stocks trading in Europe, Cisco and Intel fell, giving back some of their recent gains.

    Treasury prices fell in early trading, sending the 10-year note yield up to 4.09 percent from 4.06 percent late Tuesday. The bond market closes early to give investors an early jump on the Thanksgiving holiday.

    Elsewhere, the dollar edged higher against the euro and the Japanese yen. Brent oil futures rose 33 cents to $25.19 in London.

    After U.S. trading starts Wednesday, the University of Michigan's closely watched consumer sentiment index for November will be issued to paying customers. It's expected to remain at 85, having risen from 80.6 in October.

    Then comes the National Association of Purchasing Management-Chicago's regional report on manufacturing activity for November. The forecast is for a rise to 48.5 from 45.9 the prior month, but that would still be below a reading of 50, which indicates growth in the sector.

    October durable goods orders, also due after the open, are expected to show a 1.8 percent increase, in sharp contrast to September's 4.9 percent drop.

    To top it all off, the Federal Reserve issues its "beige book" economic review at mid-session. It will be a guide for the central bank's policy-makers when they meet to consider the economy and interest rates on Dec. 10.

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