* Dollar falls, commodities climb on QE3
* Retail sales, CPI data on tap
* Futures up: Dow 59 pts, S&P 6 pts, Nasdaq 14 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, Sept 14 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures
climbed on Friday, indicating a further advance in equities
which hit multi-year highs Thursday as investors lauded an
aggressive plan by the Federal Reserve to stimulate the economy.
The Federal Reserve launched another stimulus program on
Thursday, its third quantitative easing measure, saying it would
pump $40 billion into the U.S. economy each month until the jobs
market showed sustained growth.
"QE3 is the obvious market driver of today and probably will
continue for the next day or two," said Peter Cardillo, chief
market economist at Rockwell Global Capital in New York.
"Nonetheless, we do have some economic numbers we will be
looking at today - CPI, University of Michigan, Industrial
production, retail sales, all of which should continue to show
sluggish economic growth."
The announcement pushed the Dow and S&P 500 to their highest
levels since December 2007 and the Nasdaq to its highest close
since November 2000.
It also pushed the dollar down 0.6 percent, boosting
commodities by raising the allure of those priced in a weaker
U.S. currency. Freeport-Mcmoran Copper & Gold Inc rose
1.7 percent to $42.50 and Alcoa Inc advanced 2 percent to
$9.82 in premarket trade.
Investors will look to a batch of data for clues on the
health of the economy. Retail sales for August will be released
at 8:30 a.m. ET(1230 GMT), with economists in a Reuters survey
expecting a 0.7 percent rise compared with a 0.8 percent
increase in July.
Also set for 8:30 a.m. ET (1230 GMT) is the August consumer
price index. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a 0.5 percent
rise compared with an unchanged reading in July. Excluding
volatile food and energy items, CPI is seen up 0.2 percent
compared with a 0.1 percent increase in the prior month.
S&P 500 futures rose 6 points and were above fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 59
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added climbed 14 points.
At 9:15 a.m. ET (1315 GMT) the Federal Reserve will release
industrial production and capacity utilization data for August.
Economists in a Reuters survey expect an unchanged reading in
production and 79.2 percent for capacity utilization.
The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan Surveys of
Consumers will release the preliminary September consumer
sentiment index at 9:55 a.m. ET (1355 GMT). Economists in a
Reuters survey expect a reading of 74.0 compared with 74.3 in
the final August report.
At 10:00 a.m. ET (1400 GMT), the Commerce Department issues
Business Inventories for July, with economists in a Reuters
survey expecting a rise of 0.3 percent versus a 0.1 percent rise
Western Digital Corp lost 1.7 percent to $41.86 in
premarket trading after the world's largest storage-drive maker
cut its forecast for the current quarter on muted demand for
hard disk drives (HDD).
Staples Inc gained 2.5 percent to $12.26 in
premarket trading after Fortune reported several private equity
firms, including Bain Capital, were considering a buyout offer
for the office retailer.
Home Depot Inc, the world's largest home improvement
chain, will close all seven of its big box stores and cut 850
jobs in China as the retailer changes its focus in the Chinese
market to online and specialty stores, becoming the latest
retailer to feel the chill from China's slowing economy.
European stocks rallied to a 14-month high early and Asian
shares climbed, led by growth-oriented stocks like miners, after
the launch of a new monetary stimulus program from the Fed.