LONDON (ShareCast) - Strong corporate earnings pushed US markets up through Friday morning despite weakening economic data and continuing concerns over European debt.
US GDP growth for the first three months of the year came in at an annualised rate of 2.2%, below the consensus forecast of 2.5%.
Further emphasising the fragility of markets Spain had its sovereign credit rating cut two notches by Standard & Poors to BBB+ on concerns the government may be forced to support the weak banking sector.
Spains unemployment rate rose to 24.4% according to the National Statistics Office. Thats the highest level for 17 years.
Some very encouraging results for the bulls. Amazon had gained 14.4% by 12:24 after the worlds biggest online retailer announced more investment in warehousing and its hugely popular iPad rival: Kindle Fire.
Online travel firm Expedia rose a startling 27% after revealing bookings up 24% in the first three months of the year.
Starbucks dropped 6% after like-for-like sales came in below the market consensus between January and March.
Front month futures contracts on a barrel of west Texas crude were down 0.32% just after midday at $104.22.
The dollar had fallen 0.25% against the euro by 12:31, to leave one euro worth $1.3251.