Updated March 24 at 12:29am

U.S. stock-index futures advance; S&P 500 may extend weekly jump


NEW YORK - U.S. stock futures rose after German business confidence unexpectedly climbed, signaling the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index will extend its biggest weekly gain in five months as markets open after Thanksgiving.

Best Buy Co. added 1 percent in European trading as U.S. retailers hold Black Friday sales. Apple Inc. gained 0.8 percent. Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP advanced 1.9 percent after saying December crude shipments on the Trans Mountain pipeline are oversubscribed by 70 percent.

S&P 500 futures expiring in December rose 0.2 percent from the Nov. 21 close to 1,390.4 at 7:24 a.m. in New York. The index has gained 2.3 percent this week, the biggest increase since June 8. Contracts on the Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 22 points, or 0.2 percent, to 12,822 today.

U.S. equity markets were closed for the Thanksgiving holiday yesterday and will be open for a half day today.

“The German Ifo index delivered a clear beat today,” said Markus Huber, head of German sales trading at ETX Capital in London. “Trading volume is expected to remain well below average today due to the shortened trading day.”

German business confidence climbed from a 2 1/2 year low in November, signaling growth in Europe’s largest economy may rebound. The Munich-based Ifo institute said its business climate index, based on a survey of 7,000 executives, rose to 101.4 from 100 in October, the first gain in eight months. Economists predicted a drop to 99.5 according to the median of 48 forecasts in a Bloomberg survey.

European talks

Divisions between rich and poor countries flared at talks in Brussels on the European Union’s next seven-year budget, leading German Chancellor Angela Merkel to rule out an accord until the new year.

“Positions remain too far apart,” Merkel told reporters after the first session. “Probably there will be no result at the end of this summit. There may be some progress but it is probable that we will need to meet again at a second stage.”

Finance ministers from the 17 euro-area nations will hold an emergency meeting on Nov. 26 to discuss unlocking bailout funds for Greece. They failed to reach an agreement on the matter after 11-hour talks broke up on Nov. 21.

Best Buy, the consumer-electronics retailer being evaluated for a takeover by its founder, added 1 percent to $11.69. Wal- Mart Stores Inc., the world’s largest retailer, gained 0.5 percent to $69.24 in German trading.

Black Friday

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is traditionally the beginning of the holiday shopping season in the U.S. when retailers lure customers with deep discounts. The name recalls a time when U.S. retailers would use the day to make a big part of their annual profit, and income statements would go to black from red.

Apple, the world’s most valuable company, gained 0.8 percent to $566.31 in European trading.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners advanced 1.9 percent to $82.62 in German trading after saying crude shipments on its Trans Mountain pipeline were oversubscribed. Subscriptions on the portion of the system delivering to refineries in British Columbia and Washington were 72 percent over capacity, the company said in an e-mailed statement dated Nov. 21.

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., the world’s second-largest cruise operator, gained 1.4 percent to $34.33 in early trading in New York. Carnival Corp. advanced 1.1 percent to $38.74.

Newmont Mining Corp.,the largest U.S. gold producer, added 1 percent to $47.53.

Hewlett-Packard Co. dropped 0.6 percent to $11.87 in pre- market New York trading.


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