Here are 10 things you should know for Friday, April 15:
1. -- U.S. stock futures pointed lower Friday and oil prices declined following reports that Iran's oil minister won't be attending the meeting this weekend of global oil producers.
Oil prices in the U.S. fell 1.1% to $41.06 a barrel early Friday.
It was hoped that the weekend meeting of Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries in Doha, Qatar, could result in an agreement on a production freeze.
European stocks slipped Friday and Asian shares ended the session lower. Official data showed that China's economy slowed further in the latest quarter, with growth easing to 6.7%, which was the lowest in seven years, the Associated Press reported.
2. -- The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes the Empire State Manufacturing index for April at 8:30 a.m. EDT, Capacity Utilization and Industrial Production for March at 9:15 a.m., and the preliminary University of Michigan Sentiment index for April at 10 a.m.
3. -- U.S. stocks on Thursday finished mixed, unable to stretch the week's rally into a third day, as investors waited for more earnings to gauge how S&P 500 companies had fared in the first quarter.
Benchmark indexes dipped in and out of the green for much of the day. The S&P 500 closed up 0.02%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.1%, and the Nasdaq fell 0.03%.
4. -- Private-equity firm Carlyle Group is in serious talks to buy a package of oilfield-services businesses from Halliburton (HAL - Get Report) and Baker Hughes (BHI) that could be valued at more than $7 billion, as the energy companies seek to overcome a Justice Department challenge to their planned merger, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Talks between Carlyle and the companies are far along, though not yet exclusive, people familiar with the matter said. The talks mark a shift for Halliburton and Baker Hughes, which for months have been focused on reaching a deal to sell the assets to General Electric (GE - Get Report) , the Journal noted.
GE and the energy companies have had problems agreeing on a price for the assets, some of the people said. GE is still in the mix, however, they told the Journal.
5. -- Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) sued the Justice Department over its use of court orders requiring the company to turn over customer files stored in its computer centers -- often without notifying the customer involved.
In the suit, Microsoft said it received more than 5,600 demands from authorities seeking customer data over the past 18 months, and 2,576 of those orders forbid Microsoft to notify its customers.
This is just the latest in a series of tech companies pushing back against the government's privacy infringements. Apple's (AAPL - Get Report) very public bout with the FBI about refusing to unlock an iPhone has been highly publicized.
6. -- Academy Sports + Outdoors and Dick's Sporting Goods DKS expressed interest in buying the assets of rival U.S. retailer Sports Authority that are on sale in a bankruptcy auction, Reuters reported, citing people familiar with the matter.
The auction will determine whether Sports Authority will be sold off in pieces, or its creditors will hold onto it and try to find a buyer for its entirety.
Both Dick's and Academy Sports have submitted letters of interest to buy some of the assets of Sports Authority, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in March, the people told Reuters.
New York City-based Modell's Sporting Goods also is interested in Sports Authority. But Modell's hasn't yet decided whether it will participate in the auction, the people added.
7. -- Delta Air Lines (DAL - Get Report) plans to drop the fee for U.S. consumers who buy tickets over the phone or at a ticket counter to make things simpler for customers, said incoming President Glen Hauenstein.
The phone fee was $25 and the fee for a ticket bought at an airport or other ticket counter was $35.
Most other major U.S. airlines charge these fees. (Southwest Airlines said it doesn't.)
8. -- Bats Global Markets, the exchange operator, raised $252.7 million late Thursday after selling 13.3 million shares at $19 apiece, valuing the company at $1.82 billion, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the offering.
Earlier in the day, Bats increased the size of the offering to 13.3 million shares from 11.2 million.
Back in 2012, Bats was forced to cancel its IPO after it said a software bug disrupted trading shortly after its stock listed on its own exchange, the Journal noted.
9. -- Protesters calling for pay of $15 an hour and a union were at McDonald's (MCD - Get Report) restaurants around the country and overseas Thursday as part of an ongoing push targeting the world's biggest hamburger chain.
The "Fight for $15" campaign said low-wage employees including airport workers, adjunct professors and home care workers turned out to show their solidarity with fast-food workers. They said they're targeting McDonald's because of its ability to influence pay practices throughout the economy.
The push is being backed by the Service Employees International Union and began in late 2012, with striking fast-food workers in New York City. Since then, the growing demonstrations have helped make hourly pay a major political issue.