Stock Market Today: Stocks higher as tech extends gains and dollar eases

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U.S. equity futures extended gains Friday, while the dollar headed for its second consecutive weekly advance and Treasury yields steadied, as markets continue to rely on the strength of the chip and tech sector heading into the teeth of the fourth-quarter earnings season. 

Chip stocks are looking to build on their recent gains again, with both Nvidia  (NVDA) – Get Free Report and Advanced Micro Devices  (AMD) – Get Free Report ready to test all-time highs. That’s as investors sustain bets on AI demand underscored by Taiwan Semiconductor’s robust 2024 forecast. 

Those gains have helped lift the Nasdaq into positive territory for the year as of Thursday’s close, with premarket gains indicating another session of solid gains.

With little on the economic or earnings calendar for Friday, investors are likely to focus on next week’s parade of December-quarter updates, with around 75 S&P 500 companies set to report. 

Collectively, fourth-quarter S&P 500 profits are estimated to come in 4.4% higher than in the year-earlier period, to a share-weighted $467.1 billion. They’re seen rising 7% over the first three months of this year. 

In the bond market, benchmark 10-year Treasury note yields were holding at 4.13% heading into the start of the New York trading session following yesterday’s solid auction of 10-year inflation-protected notes. Benchmark 2-year notes were pegged at 4.357%.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of six global currencies, fell 0.2% to 103.333 but remained on track for its second straight weekly gain.

On Wall Street, the stock market’s key volatility gauge, CBOE Group’s VIX index, fell 7.8% in the overnight session to $13.63, the lowest since Jan. 5.

Futures contracts tied to the S&P 500, which is down 0.64% for the year, are priced for a 23-point opening bell gain while those linked to the Dow Jones Industrial average are set for a 170-point advance. 

The Nasdaq, which is up 0.3% for the year, is set to open 150 points higher, paced by Apple  (AAPL) – Get Free Report, Nvidia and AMD. 

In overseas markets, Europe’s Stoxx 600 was marked 0.2% higher in early Frankfurt trading, while Britain’s FTSE 100 added 0.41% in London.

Overnight in Asia, Japan’s Nikkei 225 ended 1.4% higher, snapping a three-day losing streak and hitting a fresh 34-year closing high of 35,963.27 points.

The regionwide MSCI ex-Japan benchmark, meanwhile, was marked 1.24% heading into the close of Friday trading.

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