Traders won't have a great deal of economic releases and earnings Friday, but they will have to stay on merger watch.

On Thursday, talk that Bank of America ( BAC) might bid for Countrywide ( CFC) and speculation that airlines such as Delta ( DAL) and Northwest ( NWA) could start discussing a deal helped lift the major averages on Wall Street.

As for what's expected, the economic calendar will have the import and export price index, data on international trade and the federal budget for December.

The most important economy-related news may come around midday, when Federal Reserve Governor Frederic Mishkin is expected to speak on monetary policy flexibility, risk management and financial disruptions.

Meanwhile, Infosys ( INFY) is the only name of note on the earnings schedule.

On, check in early for the latest installment of "The Five Dumbest Things on Wall Street This Week." Also, Jon Markman will discuss whether Deere ( DE) is a stock investors should consider buying.

Additionally, Gary Krakow will wrap up his coverage of the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas by detailing all the hits and misses from this year's event.
This article was written by a staff member of