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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were rising Friday ahead of results from industrial conglomerate General Electric ( GE) and following Microsoft's ( MSFT) stronger-than-expected earnings.

European stocks were slightly lower even though a key index showed German business confidence rising for a sixth straight month.

Asian stocks ended the trading session Friday mixed. Tokyo's Nikkei 225 index declined 0.3% to close at 9,561.36.


General Electric is expected by analysts Friday to post first-quarter profit of 33 cents a share on revenue of $34.7 billion.

McDonald's ( MCD), the hamburger giant, is expected by analysts to earn $1.23 a share in the March-ended quarter on revenue of $6.54 billion.


Microsoft on Thursday posted stronger-than-expected earnings.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant reported third-quarter earnings of 60 cents a share on $17.41 billion in revenue. Analysts had expected profit of 57 cents a share on revenue of $17.16 billion.

CEO Steve Ballmer was positive on the quarter, especially the release of Windows 8, which will be a major driver of revenue.


Shares in US Airways ( LCC) rose 16% Thursday after TheStreet reported the carrier has been successfully gathering union support for its bid for bankrupt AMR ( AMMRQ.PK).

Shares rose steadily after the story was reported shortly after noon, and continued to rise after it was reported by other outlets.

The carrier has managed to win qualified backing for its takeover bid from four AMR unions, the Transport Workers, the Allied Pilots Association, the Association of Professional Flight Attendants and the Association of Flight Attendants, which represents flight attendants at American Eagle, according to people with knowledge of those discussions.


Major emerging powers are ready to pledge money to bolster the International Monetary Fund's coffers to fight the eurozone crisis, Reuters reported.

Russia said G20 advanced and emerging countries were ready at a meeting Friday to commit enough new funds to fulfill IMF Chief Christine Lagarde's request for at least $400 billion to combat the eurozone crisis, according to Reuters. Russia would offer $10 billion. Europe and Japan already have pledged $320 billion.


-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Joseph Woelfel

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