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NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- U.S. stock futures were suggesting Wall Street would open slightly higher Friday on signs of an economic recovery in the U.S and a rebound in China's growth.

European stocks were higher while Asian shares ended Friday's trading session with gains.

Japan's Nikkei 225 index jumped 2.9% to close at 10.913.30, the highest finish in nearly three years, as the yen slipped against the dollar.

The Shanghai Composite Index rose 1.4%. China's economy grew 7.9% in the fourth quarter of 2012, up from the previous quarter's 7.4%.

The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday includes the University of Michigan consumer sentiment index at 9:55 a.m. EST.

U.S. stocks on Thursday rallied, as better-than-expected economic reports outweighed disappointing quarterly results from Bank of America ( BAC) and Citigroup ( C).

The Dow Jones Industrial Average soared 85 points, or 0.63%, to 13,596. The blue-chip index has risen five days out of six.

The S&P 500 advanced 8 points, or 0.56%, to 1,481. The benchmark index traded at a five-year high at its intraday high of 1485.16.

The Nasdaq tacked on 18 points, or 0.59%, to 3,136.

General Electric ( GE) is expected by Wall Street analysts on Friday to post fourth-quarter earnings of 43 cents a share on revenue of $38.74 billion.

Intel ( INTC), the world's largest chipmaker, exceeded analysts' fourth-quarter earnings estimates but issued guidance for the first quarter and full year 2013 below Wall Street views.

AT&T ( T) said Thursday it would record a $10 billion fourth-quarter charge related to its pension and benefit plans.

The telecommunications giant also warned that high smartphone subsidies will put pressure on its fourth-quarter profit.

Morgan Stanley ( MS) is expected by analysts Friday to post fourth-quarter earnings of 27 cents a share on revenue of $7.02 billion.

An Algerian military raid to free hostages at a remote Sahara natural gas complex and wipe out their Islamist militant captors unleashed bloody chaos, and the British government said Friday that the situation was not yet over, The Associated Press reported.

Lance Armstrong admitted in an interview with Oprah Winfrey that he used performance-enhancing drugs to win his seven Tour de France titles.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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