US STOCKS-Futures edge up on Greece, ahead of GDP data

* Fears ease over Greece’s debt situation

* U.S. starts criminal probe into Goldman-source

* Advanced GDP read, results from Chevron on tap

* Futures up: Dow 13 pts, S&P 1.2 pts, Nasdaq 2 pts

* For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
(Updates prices, adds quote)

By Ryan Vlastelica

NEW YORK, April 30 (BestGrowthStock) – U.S. stock index futures
were slightly higher on Friday ahead of the advance reading of
first-quarter gross domestic product and as investors awaited a
deal to bail out debt-ridden Greece.

Financials will be in focus after a source said U.S.
prosecutors were investigating Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N: ),
raising the possibility of criminal charges less than two weeks
after it was accused of civil fraud. The shares fell 3.5
percent to $154.70 in premarket trading. For details, see
[ID:nLDE63T021]

U.S. economic growth probably slowed in the first quarter,
data is expected to show, but resurgent consumer spending
should offer evidence of a sustainable recovery. Other
indicators on tap include Chicago PMI data and the final
consumer sentiment reading, both for April.

“All eyes will be on the GDP data today since there’s no
better way to determine if the economy is getting better,” said
Kim Caughey, senior equity research analyst at Fort Pitt
Capital Group in Pittsburgh.

S&P 500 futures (SPc1: ) rose 1.2 points and above fair
value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account
interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the
contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures (DJc1: ) rose 13
points, while Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: ) up 2 points.

A multibillion-euro aid package for Greece will be hammered
out within days and could keep the crisis from spreading, a top
European Commission official said. Fears over a sovereign debt
default in Europe have weighed on equities in recent weeks.
[ID:nTOE63T03Y]

On the earnings front, both Coventry Health Care Inc
(CVH.N: ) and Newell Rubbermaid Inc (NWL.N: ) posted quarterly
earnings that beat expectations and raised their full-year
outlooks. [ID:nN30240605] and [ID:nN30245864]

“The earnings are building a strong mosaic of the economy,
with Newell giving a good sign of consumer spending,” Caughey
said.

Dow component Chevron Corp (CVX.N: ) is set to report later
Friday.

UAL Corp’s (UAUA.O: ) United Airlines and Continental
Airlines Inc (CAL.N: ) will announce a merger to form the world’s
largest airline on Monday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Oil-sector companies will be in the spotlight ahead of
Chevron’s results and as a massive oil spill in the Gulf of
Mexico neared wildlife refuges and seafood grounds and the
government fought to contain potentially one of the worst U.S.
ecological disasters. June crude futures were up 0.5 percent at
$85.57 per barrel. [nSPILL]

European shares fell 0.3 percent in morning trade, while
Japan’s Nikkei average (.N225: ) ended up 1.2 percent.

U.S. stocks (Read more about the stock market today. ) chalked up their best day in nearly two months
on Thursday on robust earnings reports.

Investment Basics

(Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

US STOCKS-Futures edge up on Greece, ahead of GDP data