Stock futures up on Greece rescue deal, GE rises early

By @ibtimes on

Stock index futures rose on Friday as an agreement in Europe for a Greece rescue package eased investor anxiety that fiscal instability would spread through the region.

* Euro zone leaders agreed on a second rescue package for Greece that could trigger a temporary default and would give a financial rescue fund broader powers to try to prevent a spread of market instability.

* Worries that euro-zone debt contagion could reach regions where U.S. banks have more exposure have pressured equities in recent weeks.

* Equities have also been pressured by the drawn-out wrangling to reach a deal to raise the U.S. debt ceiling. Efforts to avoid a U.S. default enter crunch time on Friday, with U.S. President Barack Obama and top lawmakers engaged in a sometimes chaotic drive to reach a sweeping deficit-reduction deal.

* Dow component General Electric Co rose 1.5 percent to $19.45 in premarket trading after it reported a 21.6 percent jump in quarterly, beating expectations.

* Earnings reports from McDonald's Corp , Verizon Communications Inc , Caterpillar Inc and Honeywell International Inc are also on tap for later Friday.

* Microsoft Corp reported a greater-than-expected jump in its fourth-quarter profit late Thursday, but earnings from its core Windows product fell on soft personal computer sales. Shares of the Dow component slid 0.8 percent to $26.88 in premarket trading.

* Advanced Micro Devices Inc advanced 8.5 percent to $7.05 premarket after forecasting faster revenue growth than expected late Thursday.

* S&P 500 futures rose 2.9 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 36 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures put on 0.5 point.

* Apple Inc is in early talks to join the bidding for Hulu, the online video site that Walt Disney Co , News Corp and other owners put up for sale, Bloomberg reported, citing sources.

* The U.S. Justice Department is looking into allegations a News Corp advertising unit hacked into a competitor's computers, NBC News reported, citing the competitor's lawyer.

* U.S. stocks climbed on Thursday as signs of progress on the U.S. debt talks and concrete action from Europe on its own debt crisis heartened investors.

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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