Stocks opened higher Friday amid relief after Congress reached a deal on financial-reform legislation.
Lawmakers reached a deal on financial reform, now called the Dodd-Frank bill, which now goes to the full House and Senate for a vote and could be signed into law by President Obama by July 4.
The bill waters down Dem. Sen. Blanche Lincoln's proposal to make banks spin off their swaps-trading desks after several lawmakers threatened to vote against the legislation on the grounds that such a provision would force trading overseas. The compromise allows banks to
The compromise allows banks to stay involved in foreign-exchange and interest-rate swaps dealing, which account for the bulk of the $615 billion over-the-counter derivatives market.
Banks rallied on the news, including Bank of America , JPMorgan and Goldman Sachs .
Earlier, a disappointing GDP report had weighed on futures. GDP was revised to show the economy grew at 2.7 percent annual rate, down from the prior estimate of 3 percent and 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter. Business spending was also revised lower to a 2.2 percent rate from the prior estimate of 3.1 percent.
Corporate profits, meanwhile, were more than double the prior estimate, rising 5 percent.
Still to come: At 9:55 am, the final University of Michigan consumer sentiment figures for June will be released, with economists expecting the gauge to hold steady at 75.5.
Apple was in the spotlight as Oppenheimer raised its price target on the stock to $345 from $320, with an "outperform" rating.
A mixed bag of earnings out of the tech sector: Oracle beat earnings expectations as sales of new software rose but BlackBerry maker Research In Motion missed its sales target amid increased competition from rivals like Apple.
BP shares fell amid worries about the rising cost of the oil spill.
Asian stocks struggled on Friday, after fresh signs of consumer weakness and worries about stringent financial regulation sent Wall Street lower. The Nikkei fell 1.9 percent to mark its biggest weekly loss in a month, closing below a key support level in what market players said could signal still more losses to come.
European markets fell in morning trading after European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said Europe has no more room to spend through increased budget deficits, stressing fiscal consolidation was necessary to rebuild confidence for growth.
Reports indicate that Greece is pushing for some creative revenue-generating measures by placing state-owned property up for saleon its picturesque islands.
Greece was forced to embark on harsh austerity measures after being pushed into a €110 billion ($135 billion) bailout by the European Union and the International Monetary Fund last month On Friday, U.S. lawmakers neared a breakthrough in their historic rewrite of financial regulations as they agreed to tough new limits on banks' trading activity and floated a compromise on derivatives.
Still to Come:
FRIDAY: Consumer sentiment; XTO shareholders meeting on Exxon buyout; Earnings from KB Home
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