Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, Nov. 29:

1.-- U.S. stock futures were pointing to a higher start for Wall Street on Black Friday, the traditional first day of the Christmas shopping season.

Stock markets in the U.S. will close Friday at 1 p.m. EST.

European shares were trading flat following a surprise decline in retail sales in Germany. Asian stocks ended the session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 fell 0.4%. 

2.-- The economic calendar in the U.S. Friday is bare.

3.-- U.S. stocks on Wednesday closed higher with the S&P 500 gaining 0.25% to 1,807.23 to extend the benchmark gauge's 2013 advance to 26.7%.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.15% to 16,097.3. The Nasdaq jumped 0.67% to 4,044.75.

U.S. Markets were closed Thursday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

4.-- Microsoft's ( MSFT) board is focusing on Ford ( F) CEO Alan Mulally and internal executive Satya Nadella as part of a group of more likely candidates to become the next CEO of the software giant, Bloomberg reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Internal candidate Tony Bates and former Nokia (NOK) CEO Stephen Elop remain in the mix, Bloomberg reported, but they're currently considered less likely to be offered the job to replace Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, who said in August he would retire within the next 12 months. 

5.-- Australia blocked Archer Daniels Midland's (ADM) $3.1 billion takeover bid for GrainCorp.

Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey said he rejected the 100% takeover of GrainCorp because it wouldn't be in the Australian national interest.

ADM, which owns a stake of nearly 20% in GrainCorp, offered to buy the remaining 80% of the company last year. A sweetened offer in May amounted to 12.20 Australian dollars ($12.63) a share in cash, giving GrainCorp a value of AU$3.4 billion.

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