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Inventory futures rise barely after taking losses out there for three days

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A man walks a dog in the shade from the midday sun past the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) building in Manhattan during hot weather in New York City, New York, the United States, August 11, 2020.

Mike Segar | Reuters

Stock futures rose slightly in night trading Thursday as investors wait for the latest retail data.

The futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 70 points. The S&P 500 futures and the Nasdaq 100 futures both rose about 0.3%.

Retail data due at 8:30 a.m. (CET) on Friday will include an update on consumer spending recovery. Economists polled by Dow Jones expect retail sales to rise 0.7% in September after rebounding 0.6% in August. Without cars, sales should increase by 0.4%.

The major averages suffered their third consecutive loss on Thursday, their longest loss in almost a month.

The Dow and S&P 500 finished well from their lows on Thursday, aided by the strength of cyclical stocks including financial and real estate names.

"Value / cyclical stocks have offset some of their recent underperformance with strength in energy, autos, transportation, non-essential retail and finance." Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge, said in a note Thursday.

The weakness in stocks this week was due to uncertainties surrounding further coronavirus stimuli as well as fears of a worsening pandemic around the world.

Washington lawmakers continued to send mixed signals about progress towards a business cycle deal. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday the White House would not allow any differences in funding targets for Covid-19 tests to derail business talks with top Democrats.

Later, President Donald Trump said he would increase his stimulus package offer above its current level of $ 1.8 trillion. House Democrats passed a $ 2.2 trillion bill.

Meanwhile, the surge in new coronavirus cases in Europe also kept investors on their toes. The UK government announced plans to impose stricter coronavirus restrictions on London, while the French government declared a state of emergency for public health earlier this week. Germany has also announced new rules to curb the spread of the virus.

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Katherine Clark