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Stocks firmed early Friday while oil eased and bond yields held steady, as traders continued to hunker down in the runup to next week's interest-rate decision from the

Federal Reserve


Index futures recently showed the

S&P 500

trading a point above fair value, while the Nasdaq 100 was set for a 3-point gain. The 10-year Treasury bond was up 2/32 in price to yield 5.20%, while the dollar rose against the yen and euro.

At 8:30 a.m. EDT, the Commerce Department will release its report on durable goods orders for May. Economists expect the data to show orders for long-lasting products like appliances and furniture rose by 0.4% last month after falling by 4.4% in April.

The report is one of the last big economic releases prior to the Fed's two-day meeting in Washington next week. Financial markets are currently pricing in 100% odds of another 25-basis point rate hike, the 17th such increase in as many meetings. Odds of another hike in August currently sit near 85%.

Most commodity prices were lower Friday, with August crude falling 14 cents to $70.70 a barrel in electronic Nymex trading. Gold fell $1.80 to $583.60 an ounce, while silver eased 13 cents to $10.08 an ounce. Copper bucked the downtrend, rising 1.2 cents to $3.06 a pound.

Overseas markets were mixed. In London, the FTSE 100 recently rose 0.3% to 5698, while Germany's Xetra DAX added 0.3% to 5549. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei fell 0.1% overnight to 15,124, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.1% to 15,809.

Dominating headlines in the U.S. Friday was news of an alleged plot to bomb landmark buildings including the Sears tower in Chicago. Seven people, including six Americans, were arrested in Florida following an FBI probe into the alleged ring, which operated out of a city warehouse in Miami. Authorities plan to release more information on the investigation later Friday.

To view Ana Dane's video take on today's premarket action, click here


In corporate news,


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detailed fourth-quarter earnings late Thursday that were in line with the updated guidance it released a week earlier. Profit rose 27% from a year ago on a 25% rise in revenue, and the company guided current-quarter results in line with forecasts.



swung to a third-quarter profit of $38.9 million, or 4 cents a share, excluding items, matching Wall Street estimates. The contract electronics manufacturer also guided fourth-quarter profit in line with forecasts.

Six Flags

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said that about halfway through its current quarter, revenue is down about 1% from a year ago. The company cited withdrawn discounts for its season passes and said per-guest spending was up 14%. Still, the stock fell nearly 20% on the news late Thursday.

Among early research, J.P. Morgan downgraded shares of


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, citing the possibility of an impasse in technology negotiations with


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. Elsewhere, Deutsche Bank raised

Royal Dutch Shell


to buy, and Merrill Lynch raised

Advanced Micro

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to neutral.