NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Asian stock markets opened higher Friday morning after U.S. stocks rallied for a second day on Wall Street.
In Japan, the Nikkei 225 Index gained more than 2% in early morning trading, while the Shanghai Composite Index was up by more than 1%.
In the U.S., investors will be focused on a key consumer confidence survey for August that will be released Friday at 10 a.m. ET.
On Thursday U.S. markets rallied with another strong performance as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 2.3%, or by 370 points. The Dow jumped 4% on Wednesday.
The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq closed up 2.4% and 2.5%, respectively, on Thursday. The two leading indexes rose by 3.9% and 4.2% on Wednesday.
Big swings were characteristic of this week's trading with gains or losses of more than 1% since Monday. Global volatility could be a consideration for the Federal Reserve in its September meeting, according to some economists.
"Market volatility is a normal course and investors were a little bit spoiled by not seeing any kind of correction which we normally see once a year," Karyn Cavanaugh, senior vice president and market strategist at Voya Investment Management, told TheStreet. "I'm not sure that we're done with the volatility. I think given the reaction and the selloff that the Fed might be a little more cautious even though that's not really their mandate to look at global markets. They're supposed to be looking at employment and inflation."
Markets rallied to reverse the week's losses over the session on more evidence of a robust U.S. economic recovery and as crude oil rebounded from six-year lows.
Second-quarter economic growth was revised up to 3.7% from 2.3%, according to the U.S. Commerce Department, far higher than an estimated increase to 3.3%. Consumer spending was revised to 3.1% from 2.9%.
"The economy regained a massive amount of momentum in the second quarter and all the evidence from July's activity and employment data suggests that momentum continued into the third quarter," said Paul Ashworth, chief U.S. economist at Capital Economics.
Crude oil rocketed higher, boosted by hopes that a rebound on global markets could stimulate demand. Crude futures hit six-year lows earlier this week. West Texas Intermediate crude closed 10.3% higher to $42.56 a barrel, its biggest one-day percentage gain since March 2009.
Major oilers Exxon Mobil (XOM) - Get Exxon Mobil Corporation Report , PetroChina (PTR) - Get PetroChina Company Limited Sponsored ADR Report, Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) , Chevron (CVX) - Get Chevron Corporation Report , Total (TOT) - Get Total SA Sponsored ADR Class B Report , and BP (BP) - Get BP p.l.c. Sponsored ADR Report were all higher, while the Energy Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLE) - Get Energy Select Sector SPDR Fund Report jumped 5%.
Global markets rose after U.S. stocks staged a major rebound on Wednesday with benchmark indexes closing with their biggest gains since November 2011. In Europe, Germany's DAX gained 3.2%, France's CAC 40 added 3.5%, and the FTSE 100 in London gained 3.6%.
Asian markets closed sharply higher Thursday, reacting to the U.S. rally and absorbing another market-stabilizing move from China's central bank announced on Wednesday. The People's Bank of China announced plans to inject 140 billion yuan ($21.80 billion) into its financial system, which will take the form of a short-term liquidity adjustment (SLO) operation.
The Shanghai Composite closed 5.3% higher, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added 3.5%, and Japan's Nikkei gained 1.1%.
Weekly jobless claims fell by 6,000 to 271,000 in the week ended August 22, according to the Labor Department. The decrease was the first after four weeks of gains. Economists had expected initial claims for unemployment benefits to fall slightly faster to 270,000. Claims remained below 300,000 for the 25th week.
The housing recovery remained sound after pending home sales climbed 0.5% in July, according to the National Association of Realtors. The pending home sales index rose 7.4% from a year ago. The West was the only region with weakness as sales fell 1.4%.
Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) - Get Freeport-McMoRan, Inc. (FCX) Report surged nearly 20% in after-market trading after activist investor Carl Icahn reported a new 17.6 million-share stake in a regulatory filing. Icahn said he intends to talk with management about cutting capital expenditure and reworking executive compensation plans.
In earnings news, Avago Technologies (AVGO) - Get Broadcom Inc. Report jumped more than 8% after posting quarterly sales up 36% from a year earlier. Wireless communications revenue jumped 69%, driven by sales of RF components in iPhones and 4G-equipped devices.
Williams-Sonoma (WSM) - Get Williams-Sonoma, Inc. Report dropped 7.7% after reporting a disappointing third-quarter and full-year outlook. The retailer expects to earn third-quarter profit between 68 cents and 73 cents a share, below analysts' estimates of 75 cents. Full-year forecasts of $3.35 to $3.45 came in below estimates of $3.48.
Tiffany & Co. (TIF) - Get Tiffany & Co. Report stumbled 2.1% after missing profit estimates and on weaker sales due to a stronger U.S. dollar. Second-quarter earnings of 86 cents a share missed by 5 cents, while revenue of $990.5 million fell 0.2%. On a constant-currency basis, global sales increased 7%.
JM Smucker (SJM) - Get J.M. Smucker Company (SJM) Report earned $1.32 a share in its first quarter, 9 cents above estimates, while revenue of $1.95 billion beat forecasts by $50 million. Shares were up 6.5%.
Dollar General (DG) - Get Dollar General Corporation Report reported a mixed second quarter with earnings of 95 cents a share a penny better than expected, while revenue of $5.1 billion fell short by $40 million. Full-year guidance was strong with an estimated 8% to 9% increase in total sales expected. Shares fell 3.2%.