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This is what traders are watching before bailing for the weekend

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Industrial bellwether General Electric reports earnings Friday morning, as market focus turns to the Fed ahead of next week's Federal Open Market Committee meeting.

The Fed was a topic of much chatter Thursday, as more solid U.S. jobless claims and housing data added to a growing list of positive economic surprises that challenge the view that the Fed will stay on hold this year.

Despite the improved economic reports, Morgan Stanley Investment Management's Jim Caron does not expect the Fed to hike rates until December at the earliest. Some traders have been speculating that the Fed could strengthen the language in its statement next week, in an effort to prepare the market for a hike.