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Stock Futures Rise Following Strong GDP Data

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Stock futures were pointing to a stronger open Friday as the U.S. economy grew at a faster-than-expected pace of 3.1% in the fourth quarter.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up by 27 points, or 40 points above fair value, at 12,143. Futures for the S&P 500 were higher by nearly 3 points, or 3 points above fair value, at 1308, and Nasdaq futures were ahead by79 points, or 5 points above fair value.

Stocks extended gains Thursday as investors shrugged off global concerns and focused on positive earnings and better-than-expected jobless claims data.

In its third and final estimate on fourth-quarter 2010 gross domestic product, the U.S. Department of Commerce said the economy expanded by 3.1%. Economists had been anticipating an upward revision to 2.9% from its previous estimate of 2.8%. That compares with growth of 2.6% in the third quarter.

Encouraging earnings reports out late Thursday were also lifting the U.S. market on Friday. Consulting services company Accenture (ACN) earned a strong second-quarter profit, raised its outlook and announced a semi-annual cash dividend of 45 cents a share.

>>Stocks to Watch

Shares of Oracle (ORCL) were gaining 4.5% to $33.60 after reporting better-than-expected earnings and lifting its quarterly dividend by 20%.

Research In Motion (RIMM), however, issued a disappointing outlook. Shares were down 11.3% at $56.83 ahead of Friday's opening bell.

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