2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday includes the nonfarm payrolls report for March at 8:30 a.m. EDT. Employers are expected to have added 200,000 jobs last month, according to economists polled by Reuters.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Thursday rose as signs of a fragile labor market were overshadowed by Japan's bold moves to stimulate its sluggish economy. The S&P 500 gained 0.4% to close at 1,559.98. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.38% to 14,606.11 while the Nasdaq climbed 0.2% to 3,224.98.
4. -- Facebook ( FB) on Thursday announced Facebook Home, the new application that takes over the front screen of a smartphone. The social networking giant built Home off Google's Android, keeping users on the social network by launching Chat Heads, App Drawer, Cover Feed, and Notifications. Facebook Home presents Facebook status updates, messages and other content on the home screen, rather than making the user download an app. Facebook Home will come on several different phones, the first being HTC First, which is available April 12 at AT&T ( T) for $99.99. Pre-orders for the phone started Thursday. It will also be available on Samsung's Galaxy S4, which is due later this month.
5. -- Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ) Chairman Ray Lane is stepping down from the PC maker, after stockholders sought his ouster following several hiccups by the board, including the acquisition of software company Autonomy. Lane's departure comes just two weeks after he narrowly won re-election at HP's annual shareholders' meeting. Lane received just 59% of the vote. Two other directors -- John Hammergren and G. Kennedy Thompson -- also are stepping down. Shareholder activist Ralph Whitworth will serve as HP's interim chairman.
6. -- J.C. Penney ( JCP) debuts the first of its new home goods sections on Friday in 500 of its 1,100 stores. The plan is the latest move by CEO Ron Johnson to boost sales at the struggling department store chain. The home goods sections feature 20 boutiques that highlight 50 new brands.
7. -- Walt Disney ( DIS) expects to begin layoffs at its studio and consumer product divisions within the next two weeks, Reuters reported, citing two people with knowledge of the matter.
8. -- Samsung estimated first-quarter operating profit of 8.7 trillion won ($7.7 billion), up 53% from a year earlier. The world's largest smartphone maker said revenue in the quarter rose 15% from a year earlier to 52 trillion won.