Futures Rise After GDP Report
Stock index futures indicated a higher open for Wall Street Friday after the latest GDP report showed the economic decline began to slow in the first quarter.
Tech stocks looked particularly strong to start the day, with the Nasdaq indicating a gain of about 1 percent off the opening bell.
After the closing bell on Thursday, tech giant Dell reported a 63 percent fall in first-quarter profit, narrowly beating analysts' expectations. The PC maker posted earnings per share of 15 cents. The company’s shares gained more than 1 percent in premarket trading as Deutsche Bank raised its price target for Dell from $12 to $15.
Asian and European stocks gained on Friday, boosted mainly by the basic resource sector as a 5.2 percent rise in Japan's April factory output helped increase copper and gold prices.
The U.S. economy contracted at a 5.7 percent annual rate, a slightly slower pace than expected, in the first quarter. Corporate profits rebounded, hinting that the recession may be moderating.
Still to come: the Reuters/University of Michigan final reading on May consumer sentiment is due out at 9:55 am ET.
Oil prices were above $65 a barrel, near six-month highs buoyed by hopes of an economic recovery.
The dollar fell to a five-month low against a basket of currencies, despite a series of successful Treasurys auctions, on news that South Korea's Pension Service (NPS) would reduce exposure to U.S. government bonds and stocks in its five-year portfolio, Reuters reported.
In corporate news, a group of banks and money managers plan to release a letter to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and other U.S. and overseas regulators to help fend off some rules proposed by the Obama administration that seek to control trading in the derivatives market, the Wall Street Journal reported.
As the June 1 deadline looms for General Motors and bankruptcy seems imminent, a senior official said the Obama administration estimated that a GM bankruptcy would take at least 60 to 90 days and perhaps longer to complete.
Nevertheless, GM shares continued to serve as a fairly active trading vehicle, moving up 4.5 percent premarket.
Among the biggest early movers in the market was Office Depot , which jumped 14 percent after JPMorgan upgraded the stock to overweight.
Germany set an 8 am New York time Friday deadline for Fiat and Magna to reach preliminary deals with GM and the U.S. government that would allow it to free up the bridge funds for Opel, Reuters reported. The German government meets Friday to discuss Opel's fate.
Late Thursday, Chrysler's CEO Robert Nardelli said he expects the sale of the bulk of Chrysler's assets to a group headed by Italy's Fiat to close Friday, assuming the judge overseeing the automaker's bankruptcy case approves the deal.