U.S. stock index futures rose ahead of a shortened post-Thanksgiving trading session. The U.S. stock market closes at 1 p.m. ET and the CME will be closing at 1:15 p.m.
There are no major economic reports scheduled for release on Friday.
Retailers will likely be the focus on "Black Friday" — often the busiest shopping day of the year. Investors will be trying to gauge the health of the American consumer and how much they are spending as stores offer deals and discounts.
Discount retailers Wal-Mart and Target were among the stores that opened their doors on Thanksgiving evening. (Read More: 'Black Friday' Shopping Frenzy Gets Off to Early Start.)
In a press release, Wal-Mart U.S. said it had its "best ever" Black Friday events, selling 1.8 million towels, 1.3 million televisions, 1.3 million dolls and 250,000 bicycles.
Terry Lundgren, Macy's chairman & CEO, told CNBC that the flagship Macy's store in New York City had a record crowd for its midnight opening. "It was a record crowd last year but that crowd was exceeded at this (Herald Square) store certainly this morning," he said.
Europe shares traded mixed after European leaders failed to agree to a new seven-year
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after the meeting that she is skeptical about the issue being resolved this week. Along with the U.K., Germany is calling for bigger cuts to the budget.
European stocks were getting some support from stronger German business confidence data.
Meanwhile, a senior Greek government official was quoted by Reuters saying that the country's international lenders had agreed on new measures to cut its debt pile. However, they still need to fill a 10 billion euro ($12.9 billion) gap to gain the IMF's approval. (Read More:
Turning to stock news, Blackberry maker Research In Motion is surging after an
After the close on Wednesday, General Motors announced that it's financing arm will pay about $4.2 billion for the European and Latin American auto lending operations of Ally Financial.
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