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Dow on track for second best week of 2013


Thursday's modest losses aside, the Dow is on course to post its biggest weekly gain since the first week of the year, while the S&P 500 could put up its biggest weekly advance in two months.


It's the busiest day of the week for economic reports, starting with retail sales and the Producer Price Index both coming out at 8:30 a.m. ET. Economists expect August retail sales to have risen 0.5 percent after a 0.2 percent increase in July, while consensus forecasts have the PPI rising 0.2 percent for August after coming in unchanged the prior month.


At 9:55 a.m. ET, the University of Michigan is out with its preliminary September consumer sentiment index, seen coming in at 81.8 compared to August's final reading of 82.1.


And at 10 a.m. ET, economists look for July business inventories to be up 0.2 percent after being unchanged in June.


The earnings calendar is virtually blank today, as is typical for a Friday outside of earnings season.


Goldman Sachs (GS) is among our stocks to watch, with CNBC's Kayla Tausche reporting that Goldman will be the lead underwriter for Twitter's initial public offering. Twitter announced it had filed a confidential S-1 with the SEC, the first step towards an eventual IPO.


Ulta Salon Cosmetics (ULTA) earned 70 cents per share for its second quarter, three cents above estimates, with revenue also coming in above forecasts. The personal care products maker also saw same-store sales improve more than analysts had thought.


General Electric (GE) is close to finalizing a nearly $2 billion contract to provide power turbines for six power plants, according to Dow Jones.


Verizon (VZ) has been upgraded to "overweight" at Evercore Partners, which points to benefits from Verizon's purchase of Vodafone's 45 percent stake in their Verizon Wireless joint venture.


BlackRock (BLK) and Pimco bought at least a quarter of Verizon's record $49 billion bond offering, according to Dow Jones. Pimco is said to have bought $8 billion worth, while BlackRock bought about $5 billion, according to sources.


JPMorgan Chase (JPM) will spend $4 billion on compliance and risk controls, according to the Wall Street Journal. The paper said the bank will commit 5,000 extra employees to that effort.


Intel (INTC) has been upgraded to "buy" from "hold" at Jefferies, which also raised its price target for the chipmaker to $30 from $27 per share.