Nov. 15 Premarket Briefing: 10 Things You Should Know

Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, Nov. 15:

1.-- U.S. stock futures were rising Friday, getting a second-day boost from comments by Janet Yellen, the incoming Federal Reserve chief, who said the U.S. economy still needs the central bank's support.

European stocks were lower in early trading Friday on continued growth concerns for the region.

Asian shares finished the session with gains. Japan's Nikkei 225 rose 2% while Hong Kong's Hang Seng jumoed 1.7%. 

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday includes the Empire State Manufacturing Survey for November at 8:30 a.m. EST, and industrial production and capacity utilization for October at 9:15 a.m.

--U.S. stocks on Thursday rose as Yellen, who is likely to win confirmation for the top post at the Fed, said the economy continues to need monetary support, bolstering expectations for prolonged stimulus measures. 

The S&P 500 rose 0.5% to close at 1,790.62 while the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.4% to 15,876.22. The Nasdaq reversed earlier losses, adding 0.2% to 3,997.74.

4.-- Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway ( BRK.A) disclosed a new stake of 40 million shares in Exxon Mobil ( XOM). Berkshire also disclosed in a quarterly update filing that it cut its stake in ConocoPhillips ( COP) to 13.5 million shares from 24.2 million shares in June.

5.-- Carl Icahn disclosed Thursday in a regulatory filing that he owned close to 3.9 million shares of Apple (AAPL), the iPod and iPad maker, at the end of September, a regulatory filing showed. Icahn's holdings in Apple are valued at more than $2 billion based on Apple's closing price Thursday of $528.16.

6.-- Comcast (CMCSA), the nation's largest cable TV provider, plans to start selling movies and TV shows from its set-top box before the end of the year, The Associated Press reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Under the plan, the 20 million subscribers of Comcast's digital Xfinity TV service will initially be able to select from a few hundred titles that include new releases, family fare and fan favorites, the person told the AP. The list is expected to expand quickly over time.

After buying, users will be able to stream the videos limitlessly from their set-top box, or download the video to computers and mobile devices.

7.-- Almost three months before the troubled launch of, a U.S. health official expressed frustration with a main contractor working on the Web site, fearing quality assurance issues could "crash the plane at take-off," according to government documents obtained by Reuters.

Internal emails in July between officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, including project manager Henry Chao, describe struggles with contractors, staff shortages and software problems before the federal health care Web site crashed on its Oct. 1 launch, Reuters reported.

8.-- Kimberly-Clark (KMB) shares rose 5% in after-hours trading on Thursday after the maker of Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers said it plans to spin off its health care business into a separate publicly traded company. 

9.-- The National Retail Federation said its Thanksgiving weekend shopping survey revealed that up to 140 million people plan to shop over the Thursday to Sunday period, lower than the 147 million who planned to do so last year.

10.-- Sony's (SNE) PlayStation 4 game console goes on sale Friday. The Japanese electronics giant said it expects to sell 5 million units of the PlayStation 4 by the end of its fiscal year in March.

-- Written by Joseph Woelfel

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Copyright 2013 Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. AP contributed to this report.

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