U.S. stocks opened mildly up on Friday, with all three major indices set to wrap up the week on a strong note after repeatedly scoring new highs.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 on Thursday dropped slightly from their record highs as the market took a breather after an extended rally.
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday that the U.S. economy has not yet fully regained jobs lost in the recession. He made the remarks at a Chicago Fed conference right after Friday's opening bell.
Overseas, Japanese shares rallied as the U.S. dollar traded above 100 Japanese yen for the first time since April 2009. The 225-issue Nikkei Stock Average finished up 2.93 percent to its highest closing level since Jan. 4, 2008.
In corporate news, billionaire activist investor Carl Icahn and Southeastern Asset Management, two of Dell's biggest shareholders, will bid as a group to acquire the struggling computer maker. They will offer shareholders 12 dollars a share that can be taken in cash or stock. Shares of Dell rose 0.68 percent to 13.41 dollars a share in morning trading.
Priceline.com Inc. reported better-than-expected first-quarter earnings and revenue late Thursday. Its shares rose 3.28 percent to trade at 761.70 dollars a share.
According to Thomson Reuters data, 89 percent of the S&P 500 companies have reported first-quarter earnings, among which 66.7 percent have beaten analysts' profit expectations, while only 46.4 percent have topped revenue estimates.
Shortly after the opening bell, the Dow rose 15.55 points, or 0.10 percent, to 15,098.17 points. The S&P 500 was up 2.73 points, or 0.17 percent, to 1,629.40 points. The Nasdaq Composite gained 10.42 points, or 0.31 percent, to 3,419.59 points.