2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday includes the April nonfarm payrolls report. Payrolls are expected to have increased by 145,000 jobs in April, according to a Reuters survey of economists, up from March's nine-month low of 88,000.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Thursday rallied as the European Central Bank lowered interest rates in a sign that policymakers are willing to take further actions to revive their moribund economies while investors embraced reports that showed improvement in U.S. employment. The S&P 500 gained for the third time in four days, rising 0.94% to 1,597.59 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.89% to 14,831.58 and the Nasdaq advanced 1.26% to 3,340.62.
4. -- LinkedIn (LNKD - Get Report), the career Web site, forecast on Thursday second-quarter sales and earnings below analysts' estimates. The Mountain View, Calif-based Internet company said it expects to post earnings before interest, depreciation and amortization of $77 million to $79 million, short of the estimates of $84.8 million. Sales were also less than expected, as the company forecast revenue for the current quarter between $342 million and $347 million, short of an average estimate of $359.7 million.
5. -- Insurance giant American International Group (AIG - Get Report) said Thursday first-quarter net income was $2.2 billion, or $1.49 a share, down 31% from year-earlier earnings of $3.2 billion, or $1.71 a share. The 2012 results included $3.3 billion in pretax income from investments in funds that were sold or liquidated last year. Analysts were expecting earnings of 88 cents a share.
6. -- Duke Energy (DUK - Get Report) posted first-quarter profit of $634 million, or 89 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $295 million, or 66 cents. Duke said adjusted earnings in the quarter were $1.02 a share; analysts were looking for $1.04 a share.
7. -- Madison Square Garden (MSG) is forecast by analysts to report on Friday fiscal third-quarter earnings of 32 cents a share on revenue of $406 million.
8. -- Berkshire Hathaway's (BRK.A - Get Report) annual shareholder meeting is Saturday in Omaha, Neb. The company's annual meeting , the "Woodstock for Capitalists" as Warren Buffett has said, will provide investors context on the strength of the U.S. and global economic recovery, while also giving shareholders an update on the direction of America's fifth-largest company by market capitalization.