Updated from 5:55 a.m. EST
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Here are five things you must know for Friday, Nov. 18:
1. -- U.S. stock futures were lower and European shares declined as the dollar rallied on the likelihood that interest rates in the U.S. would be raised in December.
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, in remarks to Congress on Thursday, told lawmakers that an interest rate hike could come "relatively soon." Yellen noted that the labor market continued to show strength and that the economy appeared to have recovered from a sluggish start to the year. Yellen also repeated the stance that the current state of the economy will likely "warrant only gradual increases in the federal funds rate over time" and noted that a delay could impact financial stability.
The dollar rallied on the prospect of higher U.S. interest rates. The currency climbed to as high as 110.92 yen -- the highest level since last May -- from 110.17 yen in late trading Thursday. The dollar was currently trading at 110.22 yen.
Asian shares finished the session mixed. Japan's Nikkei 225 index rose 0.6% as the yen hit a six-month low.
The economic calendar in the U.S. on Friday includes Leading Indicators for October at 10 a.m. EST and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count for the week ended Nov. 18, at 1 p.m.
Kansas City Fed President Esther George is scheduled to give a speech at an oil conference in Houston at 9:30 a.m., while New York Fed President William Dudley will give opening remarks at the Economic Press Meeting on Survey of Consumer Expectations in New York at 9:35 a.m.
2. -- Volkswagen (VLKAY) said Friday it would eliminate 30,000 jobs as part of a €3.7 billion brand overhaul that will attempt to draw a line under its global emissions scandal and kick-start sales growth as the automaker invests more in electric vehicles and digital services.
CEO Matthais Mueller confirmed the moves at a hastily arranged press event at VW's headquarters in Wolfsburg as the company struggles to overcome its year-old emissions scandal that many fear has permanently damaged the reputation of one of corporate Germany's strongest brands and cost the company at least €18 billion in fines and replacement costs.
"We are going to cut about 30,000 jobs, out of which 23,000 jobs will be in Germany. However, our employees in Germany will need not worry ... there will be no compulsory redundancies, the reductions will be assured by attrition and phased early retirement," Matthais said. "I am very sorry for the people who are affected by that, but the situation of our brand currently leaves us with very little room for maneuver at the moment."
VW shares rose less than 1% in Frankfurt early Friday.
3. -- President-elect Donald Trump announced on Twitter Thursday night that Ford (F) won't be moving Lincoln production to Mexico from Kentucky.
Bill Ford, the company's executive chairman, telephoned him with the news that a Lincoln plant would stay in Louisville, Trump said in the tweet claiming credit for the decision.
Ford doesn't have a plant that exclusively builds Lincolns, but it had planned to move production of the Lincoln MKC small SUV out of the Louisville Assembly Plant so it could make more Ford Escapes there. A company spokeswoman confirmed Thursday with the Associated Press that Ford was considering MKC production at a factory in Cuautitlan, Mexico. The move was negotiated with the United Auto Workers union in 2015.
Ford spokeswoman Christin Baker told the AP she didn't know when the decision was made to keep the MKC in Louisville or if Trump had any impact on it.
Gap said revenue at stores opened at least a year fell 3%.
The company also said it would close 65 stores this year, higher than its originally planned 50 store closings.
Executives at the retailer sounded nervous about how the holiday season would pan out.
"Industry traffic continues to be challenging in November," outgoing Chief Financial Officer Sabrina Simmons told analysts on a conference call Thursday. "We will invest meaningfully in marketing [as a result], but we are not expecting an immediate payback from these investments," added Simmons, who characterized the challenges getting people into mall-based Gap stores as "stubborn."
Shares of Gap were tumbling more than 8% in premarket trading on Friday.
Foot Locker (FL) reported third-quarter profit of $1.17 a share, above Wall Street estimates of $1.10. Same-store sales rose 4.7%, in line with forecasts.
The stock fell 0.5% in premarket trading.
Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) also is expected to report third-quarter earnings before the market opens Friday.
5. -- Elon Musk on Thursday won backing from shareholders for his plan to combine Tesla Motors (TSLA) and SolarCity (SCTY) , with investors from both companies voting to approve the $2.6 billion merger.
The planned deal attracted a great deal of scrutiny from the moment it was announced in August, with critics worrying that the money-losing solar panel firm would be an albatross to Tesla and its electric vehicle ambitions. Musk, a major shareholder in both firms, and CEO of Tesla and chairman of SolarCity, has argued that it was "an accident of history" that the two companies were formed separately, saying that combined they would create a vertically integrated clean energy titan.