Stocks: Set to close week with a gain

March 21, 2014: 7:57 AM ET
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney)

This week saw tweaks to Federal Reserve policy, rising tensions between the West and Russia and continued concerns about slowing growth in China.

But for the most part, markets kept pushing higher. As it stands now, the major U.S. indexes look set to close out the week with a healthy gain.

U.S. stock futures were edging up Friday, with investors feeling relatively calm after a Fed freak out in the middle of the week.

Stocks could be volatile Friday as it's also the day when four futures and options contracts expire -- known as quadruple witching.

"That's the main driver of the day," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Rockwell Global Capital. "There is really no economic news out there other than the fact that there was some good news out there last night on the [Federal Reserve's] stress test: 29 of the 30 big banks passed."

Related: Fear & Greed Index gets greedy

Markets were rattled Wednesday after Fed chair Janet Yellen suggested that the central bank could begin hiking interest rates sooner than expected. But stocks have climbed every other day this week.

The latest reading on the CNNMoney Fear & Greed index shows markets are getting greedy again.

But the mood isn't quite so perky in Russia, where the stock market and ruble are under pressure after the U.S. announced sanctions against more high-ranking Russian individuals and a bank. Western nations are trying to put pressure on Russia after it annexed Crimea, a region in southern Ukraine.

Related: Risks in focus as China's economy slows

There's little U.S. economic or corporate news on the docket Friday. Before the bell, Tiffany (TIF) reported full-year earnings and sales that fell short of forecasts.

Shares of Nike (NKE) slid 3% after the company said earnings could be squeezed over the next few quarters.

Shares of Symantec (SYMC) plunged after the company fired its CEO.

Related: CNNMoney's Tech30

European markets were all rising in morning trading.

Asian markets mostly closed with gains. The main stock market indexes in Hong Kong and China pushed higher.

The Nikkei in Japan was closed for the Vernal Equinox.

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