Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange Reuters

US stocks advanced in early trade on Friday as upbeat quarterly results from General Electric and Google and strong German IFO business sentiment data boosted investor sentiment.

The S&P 500 Index advanced 8.23 points, or 0.60 percent, to trade at 1,287.95 at 9:45 a.m. EDT. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 67.77 points, or 0.57 percent, to trade at 11,890.57. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.54 percent.

General Electric Co (NYSE:GE) shares gained 4.88 percent as the company reported 52 percent growth in its quarterly profit that blew past estimates on growth in technology infrastructure and NBC Universal Businesses and lower costs.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) shares gained 2.04 percent following better-than-expected quarterly earnings on late Thursday. Adjusted profit was $2.9 billion or $8.75 a share, up from $2.2 billion or $6.79 a share last year. Revenue rose 26 percent to $8.4 billion. Excluding traffic acquisition costs, revenue grew about 29 percent to $6.4 billion. Analysts had expected profit of $8.09 a share on revenue of $6.06 billion.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) shares declined 2.06 percent. The company posted a net loss of $1.2 billion, or $0.16 per share, for the fourth quarter, including a goodwill impairment charge of $2.0 billion in the Home Loans and Insurance segment.

European stock markets advanced and euro strengthened against major counterparts after a report showed that business confidence in Germany unexpectedly climbed to a record in January. Germany’s IFO business sentiment index rose to its strongest level in twenty years in January, boosted by a manufacturing sector.

On Thursday, US stocks closed modestly lower, but well above intra-day lows, as the tech sector incurred the heaviest losses on fears of Chinese interest rate hikes.

The euro advanced 0.61 percent to 1.3555 against the dollar and the yen advanced 0.37 percent against the greenback.

Crude oil futures declined 0.10 percent to $89.50/barrel and gold futures declined 0.45 percent.

European stock markets are currently trading higher with FTSE 100 up by 44.01 points, DAX30 up by 80.93 points and CAC 40 up by 81.48 points.