(REUTERS) -- Stocks were on track for a fourth day of gains on Friday, with Amazon the latest company to extend an earnings-driven rally that has erased most of April's losses and left investors eyeing a return to a new recovery high.
Amazon.com Inc's profit and sales beat expectation as North America Media revenue, which includes books, DVDs and music, rose 17 percent The stock jumped 17.8 percent to $230.51 in premarket trade.
Economic growth cooled more than expected in the first quarter, according to a government report, offsetting some of the optimism but was not enough to turn the market around. Gross domestic product expanded at a 2.2 percent annual rate, while investors expected 2.5 percent.
I don't think it is terribly surprising. We had been expecting something like this, something sub 2.5 percent growth, said Steven Baffico, chief executive At Four Wood Capital Partners in New York.
There's nothing catastrophic happening, this is just slow growth and this underscores that the economy is on sound footing but nothing more.
With 254 companies in the S&P 500 reporting, more than 72 percent have topped estimates, according to Thomson Reuters data as of Thursday. A big beat from Apple Inc drove Wednesday's rally, which gave the Nasdaq its best day of the year.
Online travel agency Expedia Inc. topped estimates for profit growth as worldwide hotel revenue increased. Its shares gained about 20 percent to $39.09.
S&P 500 futures rose 4.4 percent and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration of the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures were up 32 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures climbed 13.75 points.
The S&P 500 is on track for its best week in a month, rising 1.6 percent so far and up for three straight days. The move has wiped out much of the index's losses for April and lifted the index well above its 50-day moving average.
By and large, earnings season has been positive and has proven to be an offset to the euro debt situation and to the mixed economic numbers of late, said Andre Bakhos, director of market analytics at Lek Securities in New York
With the (S&P 500) above 1,400 yesterday and closing just below it completes a bottoming consolidation formation and now the stage is set for a move high.
The euro debt crisis was not far away. Standard & Poor's on Thursday cut its credit rating on Spain by two notches, citing expectations government finances will deteriorate even more than previously thought.
But European shares rose Friday, helped by encouraging company earnings. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of top European shares was up 0.9 percent.
In other earnings news, Procter & Gamble Co. lowered its profit forecast for the year and posted lower earnings. The shares fell 2.5 percent to $65.18 premarket.
Merck & Co Inc.'s income came in slightly above estimates, sending the shares up 0.9 percent to $38.80 premarket, but revenue trailed the Wall Street view.
Ford Motor Co. reported higher-than-expected quarterly profit as strong North America results helped offset weak international operations and higher taxes. The shares rose 0.6 percent to $11.94 premarket.
Starbucks Corp's earnings came in better than expected, but global sales missed estimates due to weakness in Europe. It shares fell 4 percent to $58.28.
Gilead Sciences Inc. earnings fell short of estimates, but overall sales just topped the Wall Street view.
(Reporting by Ed Krudy; additional reporting by Ryan Vlastelica; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)