* Futures up: Dow 60 pts, S&P 6.75 pts, Nasdaq 15.5 pts
By Yashaswini Swamynathan
Sept 15 U.S. stock index futures were higher on
Thursday ahead of a raft of economic data, including a report on
retail sales, that will indicate if the economy is healthy
enough to absorb an interest rate hike.
* Retail sales in August likely slipped 0.1 percent, after
being unchanged the previous month, due to weak demand for
automobiles. The report from the U.S. Commerce Department is due
at 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT).
* Also due are reports on producer price index, industrial
output and weekly jobless claims - the last major blast of
economic reports before the data-dependent Federal Reserve holds
its policy-setting meeting next week.
* Fed officials have made contrasting comments in the past
few days on the likelihood of a rate hike at the meeting,
leaving investors jittery and leading to a spike in volatility
and volumes in the equity markets.
* Also supporting futures on Thursday was a rebound in oil
prices, after two days of steep declines, following an
unexpected drop in U.S. crude inventories.
* Wall Street closed lower on Wednesday as a drop in energy
stocks outdid a stellar rise in Apple.
* The stock was up 1.05 percent in premarket trading on
Thursday, set for its fourth straight day of gains, after Apple
said the first batch of the iPhone 7 Plus sold out.
* Aerie Pharmaceuticals soared nearly 54 percent to
$32.50 after its eye drug was successful in a trial.
* Bluebird rose 4.5 percent to $65.75 after Goldman
Sachs added the biotechnology company to its conviction list
with a "buy" rating.
Futures snapshot at 7:07 a.m. ET:
* Dow e-minis were up 60 points, or 0.33 percent,
with 26,575 contracts changing hands.
* S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.75 points, or 0.32
percent, with 183,317 contracts traded.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 15.5 points, or 0.33
percent, on volume of 26,922 contracts.
(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan in Bengaluru; Editing by