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Stock Futures Inch Higher As 4 Big Banks Report; Broadcom Rockets

Stock futures put up wobbly gains on Friday, as global stock markets moved generally higher. The major indexes lined up for a critical test of resistance, as the first-quarter earnings season geared for its big kick-off with Citigroup (C), JPMorgan (JPM), PNC Financial (PNC) and Wells Fargo (WFC) reporting results.

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Futures for the Dow Jones industrial average inched 0.2% above fair value. S&P 500 futures also added 0.2%, and Nasdaq 100 futures eked out a fractional gain.

Chip stock futures were in clear focus ahead of the open. Broadcom (AVGO) swung to a wide early lead among S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 stocks. The company announced a $12 billion stock buyback late Thursday. Intel (INTC) led the Dow Jones stocks, while early gains by Qualcomm (QCOM), Netflix (NFLX) and Tesla (TSLA) also helped bolster premarket trading.

For the week, the Dow Jones industrial average and the S&P 500 each rolled up advances of 2.3% through Thursday. The Nasdaq hammered out a 3.3% gain. The gains, which came in rising volume, initiated a new uptrend on Tuesday. But that young uptrend and all three indexes still face a crucial test of resistance at their  50-day moving averages. The Dow industrials, S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite all closed Thursday within 1% of that hurdle.

Intel, JPMorgan, Tesla Climb: Netflix Upgraded

On the Dow, Intel popped 0.9% as the stock looked to add to its 3% advance from Thursday.  The stock is extended, above a 47.40 buy point as well as a rebound from 10-week support. It is trading just below its March 13 high. If it does not top that high today, its current consolidation will mature into a flat base, with a buy point indicated at 53.88.

JPMorgan pulled 1.2% higher after its first-quarter results beat analyst targets by healthy margins. JPMorgan stock is attempting to retake support at its 10-week moving average, as it climbs the right side of a seven-week base.

Citigroup also beat earnings view and rose early, while Wells Fargo futures jumped 2% as investors waited on its Q1 report. Pittsburgh, PA.-based PNC Financial slumped 1.8% after earnings just met expectations, and revenue growth stopped just short of forecasts.

Tesla muscled up 2.7% in premarket trading. An early tweet from CEO Elon Musk said the company would be profitable and cash-flow positive by the third or fourth quarter. Tesla shares closed Thursday down 1.7% so far for the week, as the company wrestles headlines around a U.S. National Transportation Safety Board probe of a fatal accident involving a Tesla on March 23.  The company reportedly withdrew its cooperation with the investigation on Thursday.

Netflix jumped 1.%, and once led its FANG stock peers, as well as the IBD 50 list of leading growth stocks.  Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to buy, from hold, and hoisted its price target to 350, from 240. Netflix ran up 7% for the week through Thursday, buoyed by a bevy of analyst price target increases, retaking its 10-week moving average in the process. The stock is in the fifth week of a shallow consolidation, and tracking toward its first advance in five weeks.

Coming Up: Consumer Sentiment, JOLTS Report

Economic news on Friday is limited. The University of Michigan reports its April consumer sentiment estimate and the Labor Department releases the February Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey, both at 10 a.m.ET. BakerHughes (BHGE) delivers weekly rig count data at 1 p.m. ET.

Officials from the Federal Reserve will be busy, with Boston Federal Reserve Bank President Eric Rosengren, St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard and Robert Kaplan, president of the Dallas Federal Reserve all scheduled to speak during the day.

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