NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- U.S. stock futures popped Friday as investors digested a better-than-expected downward revision of second-quarter economic growth. Traders also awaited key speech from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke on the economic outlook and monetary policy.
Dow Jones industrial average (INDU), S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq (COMP) futures rose higher on the news, though they were up ahead of the announcement. Futures measure current index values against perceived future performance.
Stocks slipped Thursday despite a better-than-expected report on initial claims for unemployment benefits. Investors have been nervous this week about the economic outlook, following two disappointing reports on the housing market.
"Economic growth was lowered, but the downward revision wasn't as sharp as we were expecting, so that's being perceived as a positive sign," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at Jefferies & Co. "We also saw that consumer spending was revised higher, so there are some silver linings in the report."
Economy: The government revised its reading of second-quarter gross domestic product to 1.6%. That was down from the previously reported 2.4%, but still topped expectations.
Economists surveyed by Briefing.com were expecting economic activity to slow to 1.4%.
Separately, the Reuters/University of Michigan index of consumer sentiment for August is expected to have risen slightly to 70, from 69.6 in July.
Later in the day, Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke is scheduled to speak at an annual meeting of central bankers in Jackson Hole, Wyo. It is not known what he will discuss, but investors are eager to hear the Fed chief's view on the health of the economy and what the Fed might do to stimulate activity.
Companies: The bidding war for 3PAR (PAR) continued Friday, as Dell (DELL, Fortune 500) increased its offer for the storage company to match HP's (HPQ, Fortune 500) bid made Thursday, at $27 per share. 3PAR accepted Dell's latest offer.
The deal values 3PAR at $1.8 billion, and represents a 180% premium over 3PAR's closing price of $9.65 the day before Dell's initial bid for the company, which was made last week.
Shares of 3PAR jumped almost 10% in premarket trading, while Dell's stock rose 1.1%. Shares of HP also edged higher.
World markets: European shares were lower in early trading. The CAC 40 in France lost 0.3%, Britain's FTSE 100 fell 0.5% and the DAX in Germany shed 0.2%.
Asian markets ended mixed. Japan's benchmark Nikkei index added 1.7%, and the Shanghai Composite rose 0.3%. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong fell 0.3%.
Oil futures for October delivery slipped 13 cents to $73.23 a barrel. Gold for December delivery fell 70 cents to $1,237.00 an ounce.
Bonds: The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.51% from 2.50% late Thursday.
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|Overnight Avg Rate||Latest||Change||Last Week|
|30 yr fixed||3.67%||3.62%|
|15 yr fixed||2.80%||2.76%|
|30 yr refi||3.65%||3.61%|
|15 yr refi||2.80%||2.76%|
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