US STOCKS-Futures gain as Oracle outlook boosts techs


 * Oracle signals strong tech spend, shares rise
 * Final reading on Q4 GDP on tap
 * Futures up: S&P 5.4 pts, Dow 40 pts, Nasdaq 10.25 pts
 * For up-to-the-minute market news see [STXNEWS/US]
 NEW YORK, March 25 (Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures
rose on Friday, supported by technology shares after Oracle
gave an upbeat forecast.
 * Wall Street analysts boosted their price targets on
Oracle Corp (ORCL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) shares after the business software maker
late Thursday forecast a rise in sales of new software in its
fiscal fourth quarter, fueling hopes that a global resurgence
in technology spending remained intact. The stock rose 4.2
percent at $33.50 in premarket trade. For details,
[ID:nL3E7EP1HG] and [ID:nN24301684]
 * BlackBerry maker Research In Motion Ltd (RIM.TO: Quote, Profile, Research)(RIMM.O: Quote, Profile, Research),
however, said earnings would slip as it spends heavily on the
launch of its PlayBook tablet, sending its stock down 11.9
percent at $56.48 premarket. [ID:nN24175647]
 * On the economic front, investors will keep an eye on the
final reading of fourth-quarter gross domestic product at 8:30
a.m. EDT (1230 GMT). Economists in a Reuters survey expected a
reading of 3.3 percent, compared with a preliminary 2.8
percent.
 * The Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer
sentiment survey is due at 9:55 a.m. EDT (1355 GMT).
 * S&P 500 futures (SPc1: Quote, Profile, Research) were up 5.4 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: Quote, Profile, Research) gained 40
points, and Nasdaq 100 futures (NDc1: Quote, Profile, Research) rose 10.25 points.
 * U.S. stocks rose Thursday on optimism about upcoming
earnings and as investors bought the quarter's top performers,
lifting the S&P 500 above a key technical level. The S&P 500 is
up 2.5 percent so far this week, and the Dow has gained 2.6
percent. Nasdaq has put on 3.5 percent.
 * The Nikkei average rose 1.1 percent to round off a week
of gains as foreign investors scooped up battered shares, while
European shares climbed to two-week highs though persistent
worries about the euro zone debt situation limited gains. [.T]
and [.EU]
 * Standard & Poor's downgraded Portugal's credit ratings
two notches to its second lowest investment grade rating and
said it could cut again by one notch as early as next week,
depending on the final shape of the euro zone bailout fund. S&P
followed a two-notch cut by Fitch. [ID:nL3E7EP027]
  (Reporting by Angela Moon; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)






US STOCKS-Futures gain as Oracle outlook boosts techs