U.S. stock futures signal strong bounce; GDP data eyed

* U.S. stock index futures pointed to a strong rebound on
Wall Street on Thursday, with futures for the S&P 500 (SPc1: ) up
2.5 percent, Dow Jones (DJc1: ) futures up 2 percent and Nasdaq
100 (NDc1: ) futures up 1.9 percent at 0930 GMT.

* Europe remains a key investment market for China’s foreign (Read more about foreign investment into China)
exchange reserves, the Chinese central bank said on Thursday,
helping to soothe markets unnerved by a report it was reviewing
its euro zone bond holdings. [ID:nTOE64Q04P]

* A top Federal Reserve official, St. Louis Federal Reserve
President James Bullard, said he did not expect contagion from
Europe’s fiscal problems to the United States and the world’s
biggest economy may actually benefit from a “flight to safety”.

* Japan’s Nikkei average (.N225: ) came off a six-month low to
rise 1.2 percent on Thursday, while European stocks were up 1
percent in morning trade, led by energy companies such as Total
(TOTF.PA: ) and ENI (ENI.MI: ) after China denied it was looking to
cut its holdings of euro zone sovereign debt. [.EU]

* U.S. crude oil futures (CLc1: ) rose $1 to $72.51 a barrel
on Thursday, supported by gains in equities markets and after
the previous day’s U.S. official oil data showed some increase
in fuel demand.

* Yahoo (YHOO.O: ) said it could return to double-digit
revenue growth in the next few years, as the Internet pioneer
revamps its network of websites to attract users and
advertisers. [ID:nN26210396]

* Car rental company Dollar Thrifty Group (DTG.N: ) did not
contact rival Avis Budget Group (CAR.N: ) before agreeing to sell
itself to Hertz Global Holdings Inc (HTZ.N: ) for several reasons,
including concerns about Avis’s ability to close a deal,
according to a filing with U.S. regulators. [ID:nSGE64P0KM]

* Warehouse club operator Costco Wholesale Corp (COST.O: )
posted a higher quarterly profit, helped by increased sales of
items ranging from fresh food to clothes and housewares.

* A Walt Disney (DIS.N: ) employee and her boyfriend have been
charged with an insider trading scheme in which they said the
media conglomerate was in advanced talks to sell its ABC TV
network. [ID:nN26254919]

* Sony Corp (6758.T: ) said it would launch an e-reader in
Japan by year-end, taking on rival Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.) (AAPL.O: ) just a day
before its iPad hits shelves in the country.

* Microsoft (MSFT.O: ) chief executive Steve Ballmer was
unperturbed a day after rival Apple Inc (Read more about Apple stock future.) (AAPL.O: ) shot past his
firm as the world’s biggest tech company by market value and
said his aim was on developing a good product line and making
more products.

* On the economic side, investors awaited the second reading
of first-quarter U.S. gross domestic product growth. Economists
in a Reuters survey forecast a 3.4 percent annualised rate of

* NetApp Inc (NTAP.O: ) shares rose more than 3.6 percent in
extended trading on Wednesday after the company posted results.

* Wall Street staged yet another late-day reversal on
Wednesday to end lower after the Financial Times reported China
was reassessing its euro-zone debt holdings pushed investors
into profit-taking mode.

* The Dow Jones industrial average (.DJI: ) dropped 69.30
points, or 0.7 percent, to 9,974.45. The Standard & Poor’s 500
Index (.SPX: ) fell 6.08 points, or 0.6 percent, to 1,067.95. The
Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC: ) lost 15.07 points, or 0.7
percent, to 2,195.88.

Stock Market Report

(Reporting by Blaise Robinson; Editing by Dan Lalor)

U.S. stock futures signal strong bounce; GDP data eyed