US STOCKS-Wall St to open up after initial claims, retail sales
* Latest China data points to slowing economy
* Ukraine tensions continue, Merkel warns Russia
* Initial claims fall, retail sales tops estimate
* Futures up: Dow 32 pts, S&P 4.25 pts, Nasdaq 12.5 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, March 13 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were poised for a higher open on Thursday, putting the S&P 500 on track for a second day of gains, after better-than-expected data on retail sales and the labor market.
Weekly initial jobless claims fell 9,000 to a seasonally adjusted 315,000, marking a fresh three-month low and better than a forecast for 330,000 new claims.
Retail sales for February rose 0.3 percent, slightly more than the 0.2 percent estimate and ended two straight months of declines, although the prior month was revised lower.
In addition, import prices increased 0.9 percent last month, the biggest rise since February last year, but there was little sign of a broad pick-up in imported inflation. Continuación...