NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- Stocks were poised to open slightly higher Friday, as investors reacted to the latest reading on inflation, and continued to look for signs that the U.S. economy is on solid footing.
The Dow Jones industrial average (), S&P 500 ( ) and Nasdaq ( ) futures rose about 0.2% ahead of the opening bell. Stock futures indicate the possible direction of the markets when they open at 9:30 a.m. ET.
In a monthly report issued before the opening bell, the government said that inflation increased 0.4% in February -- a number in line with expectations.
Investors will continue looking for more of the strong economic figures that have propelled shares higher this week.
Stocks finished higher Thursday, with the S&P 500 topping the 1,400 mark for the first time in nearly four years. The Dow logged its seventh straight day of gains and closed at its highest point since December 2007, while the Nasdaq closed at its highest level since November 2000.
World markets: European stocks moved higher in morning trading. Britain's FTSE 100 ( ) and the DAX ( ) in Germany rose 0.5%, while France's CAC 40 ( ) edged higher by 0.3%.
Asian markets ended mixed. The Shanghai Composite () rose 1.3% and Japan's Nikkei ( ) ticked up 0.1%, while the Hang Seng ( ) in Hong Kong shed 0.2%.
Higher gasoline prices were the biggest factor in the rise, accounting for more than 80% of the index's increase. The report showed consumer prices were up 2.9% year-over-year.
Industrial production for February is expected to have increased by 0.5%, while the University of Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index for March is expected to stand at 75.8, up from 75.3 in February.
Companies: Apple ( , Fortune 500) is scheduled to release the new iPad Friday, and shares were up half a percent in premarket trading. On Thursday, Apple shares touched an all-time high above the $600 per share benchmark, but slipped into the red by afternoon.
Oil for April delivery rose 56 cents to $105.67 a barrel.
Gold futures for April delivery fell $12.50 to $1,647.10 an ounce.
Bonds: The price on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury fell, pushing the yield up to 2.34% from 2.28% late Wednesday.
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