Stocks rose Friday as investors were marginally bullish ahead of a preliminary estimate of second-quarter economic growth in the U.S. Index futures recently showed the S&P 500 trading 4 points above fair value, while the Nasdaq 100 was set for a 6-point jump. The 10-year Treasury bond fell 1/32 in price to yield 5.04%, while the dollar fell against the yen and euro. Overseas markets were mixed, with London's FTSE 100 down 0.2% to 5921 and Germany's Xetra DAX falling 0.5% to 4973. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei rose 1.1% overnight to 15,343, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng gained 0.2% to 16,9555. A key piece of economic data hits at 8:30 a.m. EDT when the Commerce Department gives its first estimate of gross domestic product growth in the second quarter. Economists are currently expecting a 3% expansion, on average. A higher reading could fuel inflation concerns 11 days ahead of the next Fed meeting. Oil declined as U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice pledged to return to the Middle East to pursue a diplomatic settlement in the Israel/Hezbollah conflict. In overnight Nymex trading, September crude lost 46 cents to $74.08 a barrel. Gold was marginally lower. On Thursday, U.S. stocks fell as optimism about corporate earnings gave way to concern about the GDP number. On the session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 2 points to 11,100, while the S&P 500 fell 5 points to 1263 and the Nasdaq Composite shed 16 points to 2054. In corporate news, Inco ( N) said its takeover offer for fellow Canadian nickel miner Falconbridge ( FAL) expired overnight without receiving enough shareholder support for its consummation. Inco said it still plans to go ahead with its acquisition by U.S. copper giant Phelps Dodge ( PD). KLA-Tencor ( KLAC) said fourth-quarter net sales 18% from a year ago, topping estimates. The chip equipment maker didn't disclose earnings data due to an ongoing probe of possible stock-options backdating. To view Farnoosh Torabi's video take on today's market,
click here .
Auto parts maker Lear ( LEA) said its second-quarter loss narrowed to $6.4 million, or 10 cents a share, from $44.4 million, or 66 cents a share, a year ago. Analysts had been forecasting a profit of 25 cents a share in the quarter. Baker Hughes ( BHI) reported a second-quarter profit of $1.4 billion, or $4.14 a share, while adjusted net of $1.07 a share were well ahead of estimates. The oil services company guided full-year earnings in line with estimates. McAfee ( MFE) fell sharply late Thursday after saying its review of stock options grants will probably result in a material restatement of past reports. The company also reported weaker-than-expected earnings for its second quarter.