Stock futures up after German vote on bailout fund

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NEW YORK (AP) -- Stock futures are rising after German lawmakers voted to expand the powers of Europe's bailout fund and applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. fell to a five-month low.

Germany's parliament overwhelming approved a measure that will allow the bailout fund to buy government bonds and lend money to troubled governments. That reassured investors that Europe is working to contain its debt crisis.

In the U.S., the government reported Thursday that the number of people seeking unemployment fell last week to the lowest level since April 2.

About an hour before the opening, Dow Jones industrial average futures are up 137 points, or 1.3 percent, to 11,116. Standard & Poor's 500 futures are up 15, or 1.3 percent, at 1,163. Nasdaq 100 futures are up 28, or 1.2 percent, at 2,246.