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The U.S. stock futures solidly higher ahead of Friday's opening bell.
U.S. stocks closed broadly higher Thursday, rebounding after two days of sharp declines as investors reacted to heightened worries about a nuclear crisis in Japan.
The Japanese yen had been driven sharply higher in recent days due to global uncertainty and the prospect of more cash flowing into Japan.
But the yen eased after finance ministers from the Group of 7 major economic powers announced a coordinated intervention to prevent the Japanese currency from rising further. The announcement pushed the Nikkei up 2.7%.
With no U.S. economic data or corporate results on the agenda Friday, investors will likely remain focused on the ongoing disaster in Japan.
After a massive earthquake and tsunami devastated the northern part of Japan last Friday, workers at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have been struggling to cool damaged reactors.
World markets: European stocks rose in afternoon trading. Britain's FT-100 added 0.5%, the DAX in Germany notched up 0.3% and France's CAC-40 gained 0.7%.
Asian markets ended the session higher. The Shanghai Composite rose 0.3%, the Hang Seng in Hong Kong added less than 0.1%.
Companies: Shares of General Electric (GE, Fortune 500) were up 1.2% in premarket trading after CEO John Dineen told reporters Thursday that the company expects its health care business revenue in India to grow 25% in 2011.
Freeport McMoran Copper and Gold (FCX, Fortune 500) gained 1.9% in premarket trade. Shares have risen 8.8% over the past five days as commodity prices soar.
Nike (NKE, Fortune 500) shares fell 7.7% in premarket trading after the company reported disappointing earnings late Thursday. Nike said higher commodity prices hurt profit margins and the company will raise prices on many of its products as a result.
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