Encouraging news about the American consumer drove U.S. stock prices up sharply at Friday’s opening bell.
The Dow Jones industrial average was lately up over 100 points. U.S. stock futures perked up shortly before the opening bell after the Commerce Department said U.S. retail sales rebounded in September, easing fears of an impending recession.
Adding to the upbeat market sentiment was strong earnings from high-tech heavyweight Google.
After the market closed Thursday, Google’s quarterly results blew past Wall Street’s earnings expectations, helped by strong advertising sales and cost controls.
In Europe, Standard and Poor's cut Spain's credit rating, underscoring the challenges facing euro zone nations as they prepare to meet counterparts from the Group of 20 nations over the region's ongoing debt crisis.