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Futures Flatten on Tepid U.S. Data

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a largely flat open Friday as the market weighed better-than-expected May durable goods orders and ongoing efforts to address Greece's debt crisis.

Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up by 1 point, or 2 points below fair value, at 11,977. Futures for the S&P 500 were higher by 2 points, or 1 point above fair value, at 1279, and Nasdaq futures were ahead by 7 points, or 7 points below fair value.

Stocks saw a mixed close Thursday after reports of the approval of Greece's austerity measures helped pare steep losses that were triggered by a surprise release of oil reserves.

Global stocks were rebounding Friday after the European Union said it would help Greece access billions of euros in funds to help bolster the country's economy and avoid default on its debts.

The FTSE in London was gaining 0.9%, and the DAX in Frankfurt was ahead by 0.4%. Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumped 1.9%, and Japan's Nikkei added 0.9%.

Also in Europe, Italy's Mario Draghi was named president of the European Central Bank, replacing Jean-Claude Trichet at the end of October. Draghi was appointed head of Italy's central bank on Dec. 29, 2005.

Gross domestic product rose 1.9% in the first quarter, according to the Commerce Department's third and final estimate, which represents an upward revision from its previous estimate of 1.8%. Economists had anticipated no change from the previous estimate, according to Briefing.com.

At the same time, the Census Bureau said durable goods orders grew 1.9% in May, after declining by 2.7% in April. Excluding transportation, orders added 0.6% after losing 0.4% in April. The market had been expecting growth of 1.5%. Excluding transportation, orders were anticipated to rise 0.7%.

Attorneys-general in California, New York and Ohio have started antitrust investigations into Google (GOOG) as federal regulators prepare their own inquiry, according to a Financial Times report. The probes are investigating whether Google's search dominance is a threat to competition. Google's stock was trading 0.04% higher at $480.39 during the premarket session.

Shares of Southern Union (SUG) were rising 15.3% to $39.37 ahead of Friday's opening bell on an all-cash buyout proposal from Williams (WMB) that values the natural gas pipeline company at $4.9 billion, or $39 a share. The bid from Williams surpasses an existing agreement that Southern Union has to be acquired by Energy Transfer Equity (ETE).

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