Stocks were expected to open higher on Friday, recovering from the previous session's sharp falls. Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average, the S&P 500 <.SPc1> and the Nasdaq Composite were up 0.2-0.4 percent by 0915 GMT (4:15 a.m. EST).

Research In Motion posted a big jump in profit and issued an even stronger outlook on Thursday, as sturdy demand from holiday shoppers helped the BlackBerry maker fend off the competition. Research In Motion shares trading in Frankfurt rose 10.8 percent.

Oracle Corp reported a surprise increase in new software sales and said growth could accelerate this quarter as corporate IT spending picks up. Oracle shares in Frankfurt put on 2.3 percent.

U.S. securities regulator FINRA has launched an inquiry into how Citigroup , J.P. Morgan Chase , Morgan Stanley and others offer stock ratings and research, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.

Irish low-cost carrier Ryanair said it had ended talks with Boeing on an order for 200 aircraft order after a disagreement on contractual terms.

Amazon.com Inc said on Thursday that its Kindle electronic book reader posted its best sales yet in the month of December, as the battle for the digital reader market heats up.

Palm Inc
reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss as consumers cooled to its new smartphones in the face of fresh competition including devices based on Google Inc software. Palm shares in Frankfurt
shed 7.7 percent.

Technology outsourcing and consulting company Accenture Plc reported a fall in first-quarter earnings and gave a sales outlook for the current quarter that was weaker than analysts' expectations.

Nike Inc forecast a return to sales growth this year as it expands market share and rides stronger consumer spending.

Cruise operator Carnival will report fourth quarter results on Friday. It is expected to post an EPS of $0.21 versus $0.47 a year earlier.

Activist investor Carl Ichan reported an 11.3 percent stake in U.S. video game publisher Take Two Interactive Software Inc .

Japan Airlines <9205.T> is likely to choose Delta Air Lines as its overseas partner, ending its ties with American Airlines and the Oneworld alliance group, Japan's Asahi newspaper reported on Friday.

Japan's Nikkei average <.N225> fell 0.2 percent on Friday, as the announcement of stricter capital rules led Mizuho Financial <8411.T> and other banks to give back some of this week's hefty gains while metal stocks fell as the dollar's strength hit gold prices.

In Europe, the FTSEurofirst 300 <.FTEU3> index was up 0.3 percent, and German business sentiment rose in December, hitting its highest level since July 2008.

U.S. stocks fell on Thursday as the dollar's rebound spurred a safe-haven trade, cutting demand for riskier assets, while a soft profit outlook from economic bellwether FedEx sank transportation shares.

The Dow Jones industrial average <.DJI> dropped 132.86 points, or 1.27 percent, to end at 10,308.26. The Standard & Poor's 500 Index <.SPX> fell 13.10 points, or 1.18 percent, to 1,096.08. The Nasdaq Composite Index <.IXIC> lost 26.86 points, or 1.22 percent, to close at 2,180.05.

(Reporting by Dominic Lau; Editing by Mike Nesbit)