NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- U.S. stock futures retained slight gains Friday after the government estimated the economy grew 3.2% in the first-quarter, as consumer spending accelerated the most in three years.
The Commerce Department estimate came in as analysts polled by MarketWatch expected. Read more about drivers of growth.
S&P 500 futures rose 0.4 points to 1,205.7 and Nasdaq 100 futures rose 2.5 points to 2,043.50. Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 7 points.
"The economy is gradually laying the foundation for a sustainable recovery," said Peter D'Antonio, economist for Citigroup Global Markets, in a note to clients.TODAY'S INTERNATIONAL MARKET STORIES
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Overseas, Spain's jobless rate rose to over 20% in the first quarter as the euro-zone jobless rate held at 10% in March. See Spain story.
Greek stocks extended gains, with the ASE Composite up 1.3%, and the euro /quotes/comstock/21o!x:seurusd (CUR_EURUSD 1.3304, +0.0065, +0.4910%) also advancing amid reports Greece has agreed to a 24 billion euro austerity package in exchange for joint aid from the International Monetary Fund and the euro zone. See story.
Asian markets also generally were stronger.
On Friday, ratings agency Moody's Investors Service downgraded the bank financial strength ratings and the deposit and debt ratings of nine Greek banks. The move reflects "their weakening stand-alone financial strength and the anticipated additional pressures stemming from the country's challenged economic prospects," the agency said.
Goldman Sachs /quotes/comstock/13*!gs/quotes/nls/gs (GS 146.02, -14.22, -8.87%) fell more than 4% as The Wall Street Journal reported federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into whether it or its employees committed securities fraud, following a referral from the Securities and Exchange Commission on its complaint over the sale of collateralized debt obligations.
The report said the Goldman probe, by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney's Office, is at a preliminary stage. Many criminal probes are launched without the government bringing charges, the report noted.
Barclays /quotes/comstock/13*!bcs/quotes/nls/bcs (BCS 20.73, -1.60, -7.17%) dropped in London trade as the U.K. bank reported a 29% profit rise that disappointed analysts, particularly as the group's fixed income division didn't match some peers. See Barclays story.
BP /quotes/comstock/13*!bp/quotes/nls/bp (BP 52.90, +0.34, +0.65%) rose while Transocean /quotes/comstock/13*!rig/quotes/nls/rig (RIG 74.33, -4.19, -5.33%) fell in early premarket action, following their steep losses as analysts debate the costs from the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP's market capitalization has dropped by around $25 billion since a rig fire was announced. See related story.
U.S. stocks rallied Thursday, helped by supportive economic data, earnings from the health sector, apparent diluting of financial legislation and moves in Germany to bring forward a debate on delivering Greek aid. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 122 points in its best one-day advance since March 5.
Steve Goldstein is MarketWatch's London bureau chief. Kate Gibson is a reporter for MarketWatch, based in New York.