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Google Paces Tech Gains

Schlumberger and Halliburton also have strong quarters.

Tech stocks firmed Friday as investors celebrated a mammoth quarter at




Index futures recently showed the

S&P 500

trading a point above fair value, while the Nasdaq 100 was set for a 4-point gain. The 10-year Treasury bond was up 3/32 in price to yield 5.03%, while the dollar fell against the yen and euro.

Thursday was a strong session for blue chips, with the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

rising 0.6% to a six-year high of 11,343 thanks to a 10% rally in shares of

General Motors


. Rival



reports results Friday.

Other indices did less well Thursday, with the S&P 500 adding 0.1% to 1311 and the

Nasdaq Composite

falling 0.4% to 2363.

Oil futures were lower, although the price was up from Thursday because of the advent of the June contract as the front-month benchmark. In electronic Nymex trading, June crude was trading for $72.96 a barrel, down 73 cents from last night's close.

Overseas markets were mostly higher, with London's FTSE 100 recently adding 0.6% to 6117 and Germany's Xetra DAX adding 0.5% to 6094. In Asia, Japan's Nikkei rose 0.5% overnight to 17,404, while Hong Kong's Hang Seng slipped 0.2% to 16,912.

Google shares rose nearly 10% late Thursday after the company posted a 60% rise in first-quarter earnings and reporting an operating EPS number of $2.29 a share. That beat Wall Street estimates by 15%. Sales minus advertiser commissions were $1.53 billion, beating the $1.44 billion Thomson First Call consensus.

The quarter highlighted Google's growing strength outside of its core search franchise, a development that reportedly is making some of its larger competitors nervous. According to the

Wall Street Journal




has spoken to both






about possible alliances to combat the Google threat.

Thursday night saw another deluge of profit news, including a report from



, which said first-quarter earnings fell to $35.1 million from $74.5 million a year ago, reflecting a writeoff. Adjusted earnings of 44 cents a share matched estimates.

To view David Peltier's video take on today's premarket action, click here


Away from technology,



first-quarter net rose 34% from last year thanks to strength in the company's energy-services division. The company's income from continuing operations of 90 cents a share was 2 cents ahead of estimates.

Friday morning, rival



reported a first-quarter profit of $722 million, or 59 cents a share, on sales of $4.24 billion. The results topped Street forecasts for earnings of 55 cents a share and sales of $4.15 billion.

Another energy giant could see action Friday,



. Analysts at Prudential initiated the refining company with an overweight rating and set a $75 price target, citing widening margins for certain petroleum products, among other things. Valero closed at $67.57 Thursday.