NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures suggested Wall Street would open with slight gains on Friday as oil prices crossed $108 a barrel.
European shares were up slightly, while Asian stocks finished with gains. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 0.5% to close at 9,647.38.
In the U.S. on Thursday, stocks closed up as data showed surprising resilience in German business confidence and as U.S. jobless claims remained flat.The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 46.1 points, 0.4%, to 12,984.8. The S&P 500 rose 5.8 points, or 0.4%, to 1363.5. The Nasdaq finished higher by 23.8 points, or 0.8%, at 2957. Benchmark crude for April delivery jumped 66 cents to $108.49 in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It has increased for seven straight days as tension over Iran's nuclear program escalates threatening supply, and on signs of an improving U.S. economy.
The economic calendar Friday in the U.S. features the final read on consumer sentiment for February from the University of Michigan at 9:55 a.m. EST, and new-home sales for January at 10 a.m.
Apple (AAPL) was sued in California by the Chinese company that claims it owns the iPad name. Proview Electronics filed a lawsuit against Apple's use of the trademark in mainland China. Proview accuses Apple of employing deception when buying the trademark.
Volkswagen, the world's second-largest automaker, said Friday that earnings in 2011 more than doubled as revenue rose almost 26% to €159.3 billion. Volkswagen earned €15.41 billion ($20.5 billion) in 2011, up from €6.84 billion the previous year. Operating profit rose 58% to €11.27 billion, below the average estimate of €11.36 billion in a Reuters poll.
J.C. Penney (JCP), the department store giant, is expected by analysts Friday to earn 68 cents a share on revenue of $5.5 billion.
Newmont Mining (NEM) is seen posting profit of $1.27 a share on revenue of $2.74 billion.
-- Written by Joseph Woelfel
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV