Markets have been gaining for four straight days and the futures market suggests they’re not done the holiday cheer yet. The ahead will probably see light trading with markets closing early today and remaining closed for Christmas Day tomorrow. But the data will be significant with durable goods being the key release of the week.

Two hours before the opening bell, futures on the Dow are trading 23 points higher at 10,427 and futures on the S&P 500 are up1.90 points to 1,117.50.

Meantime, WTI Crude oil is roughly flat at $76.68 per barrel and Spot Gold has climbed $15.83 to $1,103.38 per ounce.

In overnight news, the Treasury announced its receipt of $45 billion in TARP repayments from Wells Fargo and Citigroup. Citigroup also canceled an agreement with the government regarding losses on a pool of $300 billion in the bank’s assets.

Key Events Today:

8:30 ― The week’s key release should keep markets upbeat as the week comes to an early close. Durable Goods are set to rise 0.5% in November, with some analysts looking for a jump as high as 1.5% following the 0.6% dip in October. Even analysts on the more pessimistic side of things believe core orders will be on the rise, noting that it’s a lack of orders from Boeing that could skew the results downward.

“Core capital goods orders (nondefense capital goods ex-aircraft) look set to bounce back strongly after declining in October,” predict analysts from Nomura, who look for the headline to advance a mild 0.1%. “For the broader outlook, the durable goods reports will be an important indicator for determining whether business confidence has returned. For now it seems that uncertainty about the outlook has kept capital spending plans on the shelf.”

Analysts from BBVA add: “While durable goods orders are expected to rise, they will remain at levels below those of last year. As a result, we could expect to see a modest improvement in the equipment and software component of non-residential investment.”

8:30 ― Jobless Claims saw a five-week run of moderation before rising the past two weeks, most recently to 480k. Fortunately, a third rise of initial filings is expected only by a minority of economists whereas the median estimate is for 470k claims.

“This is a typical pattern for these volatile data and we therefore have not read too much into recent results,” write economists at Nomura. “We continue to believe initial claims are on a steady downtrend (the four-week moving average has had uninterrupted declines since September) and anticipate a moderate drop for the current week.”