* Wall St comes off extended decline
* Data on retail sales, jobless claims on tap
* Citigroup up in premarket after Fed review
* Futures up: Dow 59 pts, S&P 6.5 pts, Nasdaq 13.5 pts
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, March 12 (Reuters) – S&P Futures edged higher on Thursday, suggesting a partial rebound following a string of declines, as investors looked ahead to data for indications of how soon the Federal Reserve is likely to raise interest rates.
* Wall Street has been on a downtrend of late, with the S&P 500 falling for eight of the past 11 sessions, shedding 3 percent over the past four sessions alone.
* The weakness has largely been driven by concerns the Fed could raise rates as early as June. Last week’s payroll report, which was much stronger than expected, solidified this view, as the central bank said it would begin raising rates when it deemed the economy strong enough to handle it.
* While data on wage growth and inflation suggest the Fed could hold off raising rates past June, further signs of growing economic momentum could add to investor anxiety on the issue, even though stronger indicators are seen as more positive for the market in the long term. Higher rates tend to raise borrowing costs for companies and individuals and crimp spending.
* Jobless claims are seen falling by 15,000 to 305,000 in the latest week. The report will be released at 8:30 a.m. EDT (1230 GMT), as will February retail sales, where sales were seen up 0.3 percent. Investors are looking to see whether recent weakness in oil prices will translate to higher consumer spending as they spend less on gas.
* The U.S. dollar index fell 0.6 percent, though it remains up about 10 percent for the year, building on last year’s rise of nearly 13 percent. The strength in the dollar has added to worries the currency will continue to weigh on U.S. multinational earnings. S&P 500 earnings are now expected to decline 2.7 percent in the first quarter from a year ago, Thomson Reuters data showed.
* Bank stocks were active in premarket trading following the Fed’s review of their capital plans. Shares of Bank of America fell 1.2 percent to $ 15.91 after the Fed approved its capital plans but directed the bank to address process weaknesses. Citigroup jumped 3.1 percent to $ 53.95.
* Shake Shack late Wednesday reported revenue growth of 51.5 percent, though it posted a quarterly loss due to an after-tax charge related to its initial public offering.
Futures snapshot at 6:41 a.m.:
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.5 points, or 0.32 percent, with 111,151 contracts changing hands.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 13.5 points, or 0.31 percent, in volume of 16,316 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were up 59 points, or 0.33 percent, with 15,263 contracts changing hands.
(Editing by Bernadette Baum)
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