U.S. stock futures point to higher start

* Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average (DJc1: ), the
S&P 500 (SPc1: ) and the Nasdaq 100 (NDc1: ) rose 0.3-0.4 percent,
pointing to a slightly firmer start on Wall Street on Friday.

* World finance leaders gather in Washington on Friday
hoping to plot a course beyond the financial crisis but Greece’s
worsening debt woes served as a stark reminder the global
economy remains vulnerable. [ID:nN23141332]

* Greece will request the activation of an EU/IMF package on
Friday, Greek media said, citing unnamed sources. Greek
officials were not immediately available for comment.

* At 1400 GMT, Commerce Dept releases new home sales for
March. Economists in a Reuters survey forecast a total of
330,000 annualized units, compared with 308,000 units in

* Commerce Dept releases March durable goods orders at 1230
GMT. Economists in a Reuters survey expect a 0.3 pct rise in
durables orders, against a 0.9 percent increase in February.

* Document management company Xerox (XRX: ) is scheduled to
announce results. Analysts expect the company to have more than
doubled its earnings in the quarter to 13 cents per share from 5
cents in the March quarter of 2009, according to Thomson Reuters
I/B/E/S data.

* Other companies to announce results include Schlumberger
(SLB: ) and Johnson Controls (JCI: ).

* Economic Cycle Research Institute (ECRI) releases at 1430
GMT its weekly index of economic activity for April 16. In the
prior week, the index read 131.2.

* Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O: ) beat analysts’ estimates with a 35
percent jump in quarterly profit, lifted by sales of Windows 7,
but its shares fell more than 3 percent as investors expected
the company to benefit more from a recovering technology sector.

* Shares of Amazon.com (AMZN.O: ) slid 4.7 percent after the
closing bell on Thursday as the company reported quarterly

* Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: ) was involved as an
underwriter and an investor in Lloyds Banking Group Plc’s
(LLOY.L: ) 23.5 billion pound (US$36.1 billion) refinancing in
late 2009, the Financial Times said on Thursday, citing four
people involved in the capital raising.

* Goldman Sachs director Rajat Gupta told hedge fund
billionaire Raj Rajaratnam about a $5 billion investment in
Goldman by Berkshire Hathaway (BRKa.N: ) (BRKb.N: ) before the deal
was made public, the Wall Street Journal said, citing a person
close to the situation. [ID:nSGE63M07P]

* American Express Co (AXP.N: ) said on Thursday net income
more than doubled in the first quarter, as the credit card
company continued to lead its competitors out of the slump of
the last two years. [ID:nN22122541]

* Capital One Financial Corp (COF.N: ), a credit card issuer
and bank, posted on Thursday a stronger-than-expected first
quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.) of $636.3 million as it set aside less money to
cover credit losses.

* Japan’s Nikkei average (.N225: ) slipped 0.3 percent on
Friday to mark its third negative week in a row, although
support was holding as forecast hikes by companies such as
Furukawa Electric (5801.T: ) helped stem further losses.

* U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) staged a late-day comeback on Thursday as
strong quarterly profits from consumer bellwethers like
Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O: ) outweighed worries about Greece’s shaky

The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) climbed 9.37 points,
or 0.08 percent, to 11,134.29. The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index
(.SPX: ) rose 2.73 points, or 0.23 percent, to 1,208.67. The
Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) gained 14.46 points, or 0.58
percent, to 2,519.07.

* European shares bounced back on Friday after steep losses
in the previous two sessions, with Volvo (VOLVb.ST: ) soaring
after first-quarter profit (Read more your timing to make a profit.)s beat expectations. But banks fell on
Greece concerns. The pan-European FTSEurofirst 300 (.FTEU3: )
index of top shares was up 0.8 percent.

Stock Market Basics

(Reporting by Atul Prakash; editing by Karen Foster)

U.S. stock futures point to higher start