After a bullish session for the U.S. stock market, broad trends mostly continued in after-hours trading. 

Of the 10 stocks that gained the most in the S&P 500 Index during the regular session, 8 continued to gain in after-hours trading while 2 were flat or down at 6:00 pm in New York.  Commodities stocks were generally adding to their gains while semiconductor stocks lost some steam.

AK Steel (NYSE:AKS) is up 1.2 percent in after-hours trading after gaining 6.39 percent in the regular session.  Cliffs Natural Resources (NYSE:CLF), the second biggest gainer of the S&P 500 today at 7.81 percent, is up 0.53 percent in after-hours.

Semiconductor stocks led the technology sector today after a report that showed global sales increased 29 percent year-on-year in December.  Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), the leading tech stock of the S&P 500, gained 7.67 percent in the regular session and is up 0.91 percent in after-hours.  

Chipmaker AMD (NYSE:AMD) is up 0.13 percent after-hours while rival Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) is down 0.05 percent.  Micron Technology (NASDAQ:MU), a leading stock during the regular session, is up 0.22 percent after-hours.  

The forex market, which operates 24 hours a day, however, show some signs of reversing its course ahead of the opening of various Asian stock markets. 

The dollar recovered more than 10 pips against both the euro and the yen since 4:00 p.m. EST.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar and Canadian dollar - considered commodities currencies - continued to rally, although at a slower pace. 

The broad U.S. stock market had one of its best days in 2010.  The S&P 500 closed up 1.43 percent to trade at 1,089.18, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 1.17 percent at 10,185.53.

The stock market today - led by commodities stocks - rallied on reports that manufacturing activity expanded in China and the U.S.  The condition of the manufacturing sector serves as a barometer for demand for raw materials.

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