2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday includes the nonfarm payrolls report for August at 8:30 a.m. EDT.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Thursday posted modest gains on steady improvements in the labor market even as investors await an August employment report due Friday morning that may offer greater insight into the strength of the U.S. economic recovery. The S&P 500 rose 0.12% to 1,655.08 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.04% to 14,937.48. The Nasdaq rose 0.27% to 3,658.78.
4. -- President Obama won't travel to California next week but will remain in Washington to press his case to Congress for a military strike against Syria, the White House announced Thursday. The president was scheduled to address the AFL-CIO's quadrennial convention in Los Angeles and attend a party fundraiser. The fundraiser has been postponed, a Democratic National Committee official said, The Los Angeles Times reported. Obama returns to Washington on Friday after attending the G20 summit in Russia.
5. -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) has begun evaluating a plan to offer iPhones with screens ranging from 4.8 inches to as high as 6 inches, people familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal, just as the tech giant prepares to unveil a new iPhone next week. The iPhone 5, released last year, has a 4-inch screen. If Apple boosts the size of the screen to as big as 6 inches, it would be one of the largest on the market, the Journal noted.
6. -- At least three Democrats on the Senate Banking Committee are expected to oppose Larry Summers if he is nominated to become chairman of the Federal Reserve, the Journal reported. Democrats hold a two-vote majority on the 22-member panel -- a loss of three Democrats would make it impossible for Summers to advance to the full Senate for a confirmation vote without the backing of some of the 10 Republicans. No Republican has publicly expressed support so far for any potential White House nominee for Fed chief, according to the Journal. The committee Democrats expected to oppose Summers are Jeff Merkley of Oregon, Sherrod Brown of Ohio, and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, according to congressional aides.
7. -- Ford (F - Get Report) CEO Alan Mulally may step down sooner than planned, Reuters reported, citing people with knowledge of the matter. Under a succession plan outlined late last year, Mulally, 68 years old, was expected to remain as CEO until at least the end of 2014. But Ford's board is now open to letting him step down earlier as he explores other roles, two people familiar with the board's thinking said, Reuters reported. Mulally was hired in 2006. He is credited with driving a culture change that helped save the No. 2 U.S. automaker, Reuters noted.