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Stock futures rise after twist in race for Fed job

NEW YORK U.S. stock futures are rising sharply and major U.S. averages could hit new highs following a twist in the race for the top job at the Federal Reserve.

Dow Jones industrial futures are up 162 points to 15,473. S&P futures have gained 18 points to 1,700. Nasdaq futures are up 32.5 points to 3,204. Lawrence Summers, the leading candidate to replace Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke, withdrew his name from consideration Sunday.

Summers was considered more hawkish on the economy, which means that most people thought he would be more likely to rein in the government's massive stimulus program. The president is expected to nominate Bernanke's successor as early as this month and right now, the front runner is Janet Yellen, the Fed's vice chair.

The U.S. releases industrial production numbers Monday.