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Pre-Market: Goldman Sachs Is Bullish on Stocks; Jobless Claims Drop

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Plus, Europe's two biggest economies are going separate ways.

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US stock index futures were higher this morning following a bullish call on stocks and a dip in jobless claims.

Dow (INDEXDJX:.DJI) futures rose 0.21% to 15,911 while S&P 500 (INDEXSP:.INX) futures were up 0.21% to 1,783.50. Futures on the Nasdaq Composite (INDEXNASDAQ:.IXIC) gained 0.34% to 3,378.00.

Initial jobless claims fell by 21,000 last week to 323,000. Economists had expected 335,000 new claims for unemployment benefits.

Producer prices in the United states fell 0.2% in October, according to a report released today. Excluding food and energy, prices rose 0.2%.

European stocks are down today. A report today showed that the growth in business activity slowed in November. The composite PMI reading for this month was 51.5, down from 52.6. Manufacturing hit a 29-month high of 51.5, but services were just 50.9. (Readings over 50 indicate positive growth in the sector.) Europe's two biggest economies are going separate ways. Germany's composite PMI rose to 54.3 from 52.6, but France fell into contraction with a 48.5 reading.

The manufacturing PMI reading for China by HSBC this month fell to a two-month low of 50.4, signaling slow growth.

Later this morning, Markit will release its manufacturing PMI for the US, which is expected to rise nearly two points to 53.

Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) analyst David Kostin released a bullish outlook for stocks in 2014 and further. He predicts that the S&P 500 will gain 6% next year, followed by 17% and 23% rises in the following years. The key driver, he says, will be global economic growth.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR) shares jumped 6% in pre-market after the coffee-pod maker reported better-than-expected earnings. Revenue rose 22% to $1 billion as customers bought more Keurig coffee brewers. Earnings came in at $0.89 per share.

Target (NYSE:TGT) fell 4% in early trading after reporting earnings. Per share, the retailer earned $0.54 in the third quarter, down 46% from a year ago, missing estimates of $0.62.

After the close of the trading day, Gap (NYSE:GPS) and Pandora (NYSE:P) will report earnings.

Twitter: @vincent_trivett
No positions in stocks mentioned.
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