Morning Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were signaling a higher start for Wall Street on Friday as markets across the globe got a bounce from moves Thursday by the Federal Reserve to prop up the U.S. economy.

The Fed announced an open-ended plan to purchase $40 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities per month and extended its pledge to keep interest rates at their zero levels until at least mid-2015.

European stocks were moving sharply higher, while Asian shares rallied. Japan's Nikkei 225 index jumped 1.8% to close Friday at 9,159.39.

The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes retail sales and the consumer price index for August at 8:30 a.m. EDT, industrial production and capacity utilization for August at 9:15 a.m., the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index for September at 9:55 a.m. , and business inventories for July at 10 a.m.

U.S. stocks on Thursday soared after the Fed more than fulfilled expectations for another round of quantitative easing.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up more than 206 points, or 1.55%, at 13,540. The day's intraday peak of 13,573 was the blue-chip index's highest level since December 2007.

Home Depot ( HD), the No. 1 home-improvement retailer, said Friday it will close its seven remaining big box stores in China and cut 850 jobs.

Ford's ( F) board may name CEO Alan Mulally as non-executive chairman to keep him involved with automaker after he leaves the top post, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

Goldman Sachs ( GS) is doing away with two-year contracts for most analysts hired out of college, according to communications reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. The move was confirmed by a Goldman spokesman.

"We think the historic two-year program is no longer the best approach for hiring and developing the careers of analysts in our banking and investment-management divisions," the Goldman spokesman told the newspaper. "Making this change allows us to emphasize the longer-term career opportunities available at the firm."

Several private-equity firms are considering a buyout offer for Staples ( SPLS), according to a report from Fortune. Among the firms is Bain Capital, which helped launch the office superstore 26 years ago.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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