US futures up on hope for unified European action

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, July 26, 2012.  The Dow Jones industrial average on Thursday jumped 212 points following big gains in European markets. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)
View photos
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Thursday, July 26, 2012. The Dow Jones industrial average on Thursday jumped 212 points following big gains in European markets. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

NEW YORK (AP) — New optimism that leaders in Europe will take decisive action to address their debt crisis pushed stock futures higher Friday for a second day and overshadowed more evidence of lethargic economic growth in the U.S.

Dow Jones industrial futures added 52 points to 12,877 and the broader S&P futures rose 7.2 points to 1,362. The Nasdaq futures shook off a rough week and traded up 15.25 points at 2,587.75.

Markets began to rally Thursday after European Central Bank President Mario Draghi said fiscal policy leaders would do "whatever it takes" within the organization's mandate to preserve the euro.

That appeared to carry more weight than the latest numbers on gross domestic product, released Friday by the Commerce Department.

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of 1.5 percent from April through June as Americans, uneasy about jobs, cut back sharply on spending. The slowest growth in a year will do little to alleviate fears that the economy, now three years removed from recession, is stalling.

However, first-quarter growth was not as bad as previously thought. The Commerce Department raised its estimate to a 2 percent rate, up from 1.9 percent, for the January-March quarter.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq is finally showing some resilience after a terrible week in which even the impervious Apple Inc. seemed to disappoint.

Though the Nasdaq rose Friday, it wasn't because that trend had changed.

Shares of Facebook plunged after the social network posted at least its fifth consecutive quarterly decline in revenue growth late Thursday. Shares are headed for lows not touched since the company's disastrous debut on the Nasdaq in May. Shares in premarket trading fell 13 percent, or $3.44, to $23.40. The previous low, reached last month, was $25.52.