Futures Hold Gains, Lifted by Fed Decision


U.S. stock index futuresheld their gains Friday a day after the Federal Reserve's decision to launch another round of quantitative easing, and as investors largely overlooked a batch of mixed economic reports.

Retail sales in August, gaining 0.9 percent, lifted by automobiles and high gasoline prices, according to the Commerce Department. Economists had expected an increase of 0.7 percent.

And the consumer prices index rose 0.6 percent in August, the biggest gain in three years, according to the Labor Department. The figure was slightly above expectations for a 0.5-percent gain.

Meanwhile, industrial production declined 1.2 percent in August, the biggest fall since March 2009, according to the Federal Reserve. Analysts had expected industrial output to be flat.

Stocks rallied to multi-year highs in the previous sessionafter the Fed launched another aggressive stimulus program, saying it will buy $40 billion of mortgage debt each month and continue to purchase assets to improve the jobs market. (Read More: If I Were Bernanke, I Would Resign—Marc Faber)

European shares traded sharply higherfollowing the news. Gold and the euro rallied to a against the dollar. (Read More: Gold Set for Even Bigger Bernanke Boost)

Bulls Run on Fed-Fueled Rally

United Healthcare rallied following news the health insurance company will be replacing Kraft Foods in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. The change will be effective after the close of trading September 21. Kraft entered the Dow on September 2008, replacing AIG .

Apple started taking pre-orders for its new iPhone 5 this morning. The phones will also be available through AT&T , Sprint and Verizon .

The University of Michigan’s September preliminary consumer sentiment index is out at 9:55 a.m. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expect a reading of 74 compared with 74.3 in the final August report.

At 10 a.m. the Commerce Department will release July business inventories, which economists polled by Briefing.com see rising 0.4 percent following June’s 0.1 percent increase.

By CNBC’s JeeYeon Park (Follow JeeYeon on Twitter: @JeeYeonParkCNBC)

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FRIDAY: Industrial production, consumer sentiment, business inventories, FDA decision on Truvia

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