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US futures rise, stocks on track for 6-week winning streak

IN THE NEWS TODAY

U.S. futures pointed to modest gains, with the major averages on pace for a sixth straight winning week. The Dow Jones industrial average is also on track for its biggest comeback from a deficit during a quarter since 1933. (CNBC)

U.S. oil prices traded slightly higher after hitting fresh highs for 2016. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures were also on track for a more than 4 percent weekly gain. (Reuters)

Asian equities closed mostly higher overnight, tracking earlier gains in oil, with the Chinese Shanghai composite rising 1.72 percent and the Japanese Nikkei 225 slipping 1.25 percent. (CNBC)

The dollar bounced back against a basket of currencies, gaining about 0.3 percent, but still remained near a 17-month low against the yen. (Reuters)

Bernie Sanders conceded the Missouri Democratic primary, telling the Associated Press he will not seek a recount despite a gap of only 1,500 votes. (NBC News)

Merrick Garland visited the Capitol on Thursday, a day after being nominated to the Supreme Court, and met with Senate Democrats. Still, Republicans (who hold the majority) vowed again they would not hold hearings or a confirmation this year. (NY Times)

Hacker group Anonymous posted Donald Trump's alleged cell phone number and Social Security number on Thursday — but the information appears to have been floating around online for a while. (NBC News)

North Korea fired a medium-range ballistic missile into the sea today, days after its leader Kim Jong Un ordered weapons tests linked to its pursuit of a long-range nuclear missile capable of reaching the U.S. mainland. (AP)

European leaders will present a deal to Turkey today in an attempt to halt the flow of migrants to the continent, Luxembourg Prime Minister Xavier Bettel said in a tweet. (USA Today)

JPMorgan Chase (JPM) increased its stock buyback program by $1.88 billion. That amount will be added to the $6.4 billion authorization put in place last summer. (Reuters)

Viacom (VIAB) has gotten interest from about three dozen companies for a minority stake in its Paramount Pictures film studio, according to CEO Philippe Dauman. (Wall Street Journal)

UBS (UBS) Chief Executive Sergio Ermotti received 14.3 million Swiss francs, or $14.8 million, in total compensation last year. This was up from his 2014 compensation of 11.16 million francs. (Reuters)

Shutterfly (SFLY) named Christopher North as president and chief executive officer, effective May 31. Interim CEO Phil Marineau will remain in place until that date. (Reuters)


BY THE NUMBERS

It's a light session for economic data, with only the University of Michigan's mid-March consumer sentiment index set for release. The 10 a.m. ET report is expected to show a rise in the monthly reading to 92.2 from February's final 91.7.

Three Fed speeches are on today's calendar, with New York Fed President William Dudley, Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren, and St. Louis Fed President James Bullard all set for public appearances.

Tiffany (TIF) leads this morning's shortlist of earnings reports, with insurer Progressive (PGR) also set to issue quarterly numbers. There are no earnings reports scheduled after today's closing bell, as is usually the case on Friday.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Adobe Systems (ADBE) reported earnings per share of 66 cents, 5 cents above estimates, while revenue was also slightly above forecasts. Adobe also gave upbeat guidance for the current quarter as digital media sales surge.

Columbia Pipeline Group (CPGX) agreed to be bought by TransCanada Corp. (TRP) for $10.2 billion. The deal for the Houston-based natural gas pipeline operator is worth $25.50 per share, compared to yesterday's close of $23.51.

Aeropostale (ARO) plans to seek strategic alternatives after the teen apparel retailer said it could face liquidity problems after failing to solve a dispute with a major supplier. That news comes after the company reported a 13th consecutive quarterly loss.

Whole Foods Market (WFM) will replace fast-growing industry standard chickens with slower growing varieties. The natural foods grocer said the chickens will have better lives and yield better meat.

WATERCOOLER

Yale's men's basketball team upset Baylor on its way to notching its first win ever in the NCAA tournament. (USA Today)

Bogata, a small Romanian village, got a big social media boost after rapper Snoop Dogg misspelled Bogota, Colombia's capital, on an Instagram post. (AP)