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U.S. futures set to rebound as G-8 leaders gather
NEW YORK — U.S. stock futures rebounded Friday as leaders of eight of the world’s biggest economies began to gather outside of Washington to determine how best to limit damage from the debt crises rattling Europe.
Perhaps the only thing that could overshadow news out of Europe, at least for one day, is Facebook’s debut as a public company on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
Nasdaq composite futures rose 10 points to 2,514.75. Dow Jones industrial average futures added 48 points to 12,461. Standard & Poor’s 500 futures rose 6 points to 1,307.3.
Facebook is expected to begin trading before noon, the day after the online social network raised $16 billion in an initial public offering. Its established market value, $104 billion, already exceeds that of Walt Disney, McDonald’s and Amazon.com.
Friday’s uptick for futures bucks a trend, and U.S. stocks appear to be headed for their first losing month since September, with Europe dominating headlines.
Dow Jones futures are down more than 5 percent in May and the S&P and Nasdaq are down 6 percent to 7 percent.
And as representatives of the G-8 head for Camp David this weekend, the situation in Europe may be growing more dire.
Ratings agency Moody’s downgraded 16 Spanish banks late Thursday, three days after downgrading Italy’s, noting they are vulnerable to huge losses on government debt.
And after an election in Greece that brought in political parties opposed to bailouts for the beleaguered country, the Fitch ratings agency dropped the nation to the lowest possible grade for a country not in default Thursday.
Fitch said that if elections next month do not reverse the political trends in Greece, that the country’s departure from the European Union “would be probable.”
After days of huge losses, European stock exchanges managed to slightly reverse their earlier losing streaks by midday, with Britain’s FTSE 100 down 0.5 percent to 5,311. Germany’s DAX rose 0.4 percent to 6,333 and France’s CAC-40 rose 0.6 percent to 3,030.
Meetings begin Friday for G8 countries — the United States, Germany, France, Britain, Japan, Russia, Italy and Canada as unemployment spirals out of control in Europe and the recession grips half of the countries in the European Union.
Those outside of Europe are seeking assurances that leaders there can contain the damage from a potential collapse in Greece.
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