Futures Perk Up After GDP Surprise


U.S. stock index futures picked up steam after the government said economic growth wasn't as robust as previously reported, but still was better than analysts had thought.

Second-quarter gross domestic product gained 1.6 percent, a downward revision from the previously reported 2.4 percent but ahead of the 1.3 percent that Wall Street was looking for.

Futures indicated an open of about 0.5 percent higher for the Dow, and a bit higher for the the other averages.

Following Thursday's market losses, the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq are now at their lowest since July 6, and remain on track for their first losing August since 2005.

In company news, Hewlett-Packard increased its bid for3Par to $27 a share, topping the most recent offer from Dell of $24.30 a share. 3Par shares rose even higher than the offer price, gaining nearly 10 percent to trade most recently at $28.55.

Bernanke will speak at the Kansas City Fed conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming at 10 am New York time with investors looking for clues on the Fed's strategy for supporting the economic recovery.

At 8:30 am the government issues its second estimate of gross domestic product figures for the second quarter. Economists predict that the figure will be revised downward from the previous 2.4 percent annual growth rate to 1.3 percent.

Also on the economic front, the University of Michigan will release its monthly consumer sentiment index, which is expected to come in at 69.9. The preliminary August reading was 69.6, and the final July reading had been 67.8.

J.Crew saw its shares fall after hours following its second-quarter earnings report. Novell shares were also slightly lower, after it reported a nearly 6 percent drop in third-quarter profit. And investor Carl Icahn increased his stake in Motorola to 10.4 percent.

In the aerospace industry, Dow component Boeing pushed back delivery of its first 787 Dreamliner by several weeks, because of a delay in the availability of a Rolls-Royce engine needed for the final phase of flight testing.

Elsewhere, OmniVision Technologies swung to a quarterly profit and beat analyst estimates. But its shares dropped 4.2 percent premarket as revenue hit the low end of company estimates.

- Peter Schacknow, Senior Producer, CNBC Breaking News Desk, contributed to this report.