NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a slightly higher start for Wall Street on Friday as traders prepared for a half-session and shoppers sought deals on "Black Friday," the day after Thanksgiving that traditionally kicks off the holiday shopping season.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday is empty.
The major U.S. equity averages finished with modest gains Wednesday, taking their cue from a dip in weekly initial jobless claims and improvement in domestic manufacturing data. The Dow rose more than 48 points, or 0.38%, to close at 12,837.Stock markets in the U.S. were closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday. The FTSE 100 in London was rising 0.2% on Friday, while the DAX in Germany was up 0.03%. A survey released Friday found that German business confidence rose unexpectedly in November after six straight monthly declines. Hong Kong's Hang Seng index on Friday closed with a 0.8% gain while China's benchmark index also ended higher. China's manufacturing expanded for the first time in 13 months in November, helping to boost global stocks on Thursday. Gold for December delivery was up $5.40 at $1,733.60 an ounce at the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange, while January crude oil contracts were down 13 cents to $87.25. The benchmark 10-year Treasury was trading at 1.69%. The euro rose to $1.2904 from $1.2825 late Wednesday in New York. In corporate news, retailers such as Wal-Mart (WMT - Get Report)and Target (TGT - Get Report) will be the focus on Black Friday, so named because the day is traditionally when retailers turn a profit for the year. Many stores opened Thanksgiving night. Research In Motion (RIMM) shares surged 14% in premarket trading Friday on optimism over the company's BlackBerry 10 devices. RIM confirmed earlier this month that the BlackBerry 10 technology will debut at a launch event on Jan. 30, 2013. -- Written by Joseph Woelfel
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