The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday includes the advance estimate of gross domestic product for the third quarter at 8:30 a.m. EDT. The consensus estimate is for growth of 1.9%, up from 1.3% in the second quarter.
U.S. stocks on Thursday finished slightly higher as investors balanced mediocre jobless claims and durable goods data against mostly upbeat earnings reports that arrived before the closing bell. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added more than 26 points, or 0.20%, to close at 13,104.
Apple delivered Thursday a below-consensus quarterly profit but topped Wall Street's revenue expectations. Apple sold 26.9 million iPhones, 14 million iPads, 5.3 million iPods and 4.9 million Macs during the quarter. There were some concerns over iPhone sales this quarter, as supply constraints weighed heavily. IPad sales were light, as many on Wall Street were expecting sales of about 15 million to 16 million iPads.
Amazon.com, the online retailer, came up up short in its latest quarter despite a year-over-year sales increase of nearly 30%. Amazon posted a loss of $274 million, or 60 cents a share, for the third quarter on sales of $13.81 billion. In the same period a year earlier, Amazon earned $63 million, or 14 cents a share, on sales of $10.88 billion. Operating margins came in at negative 0.2%, declining for a third straight quarter. For the fourth quarter, Amazon forecast between an operating loss of $490 million and an operating profit of $310 million with sales between $20.25 billion and $22.75 billion.
Samsung's quarterly profit rose to a record high on strong sales of its Galaxy phones, but analysts expected growth to slow next year in the crowded smartphone market. Samsung said profit nearly doubled to 6.56 trillion won ($5.97 billion) in the July-September period from 3.44 trillion won a year earlier. Revenue for the third quarter jumped 26%.
Drugmaker Merck ( MRK) is expected by analysts Friday to post third-quarter earnings of 92 cents a share on revenue of $11.57 billion in the September-ended period.
Earnings are also expected Friday from American Axle & Manufacturing ( AXL), Arch Coal ( ACI), Comcast Corp. ( CMCSA), Coventry Health Care ( CVH), Entrecom Communications ( ETM), Goodyear Tire ( GT), Graham Corp. ( GHM), Immunogen ( IMGN), Interpublic Group ( IPG), Kaydon ( KDN), KKR ( KKR), Lear Corp. ( LEA), Legg Mason ( LM), LifePoint Hospitals ( LPNT), Magellan Health Services ( MGLN), Moody's Corp. ( MCO), Newell Rubbermaid ( NWL), Oppenheimer Holdings ( OPY), Pilgrim's Pride ( PPC), Radware ( RDWR), Rockwell Collins ( COL), Starwood Financial ( SFI), TASER International ( TASR), and Weyerhaeuser ( WY).
Wal-Mart ( WMT) said Friday it plans to open 100 stores in the next three years in China and add 18,000 jobs.
Pearson ( PSO) said Friday it is holdings talks about merging its Penguin Group books business with Random House, which is owned by Germany's Bertelsmann.
The San Francisco Giants topped the Detroit Tigers on Thursday to take a 2-0 World Series lead. The Giants won Game 2, 2-0.
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