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S&P 500 and Dow on track to snap 8-week winning streak

Fred Imbert
These are the stocks posting the largest moves before the bell.

The major U.S. stock indexes traded slightly lower on Friday as they threatened to snap multi-week winning streaks. But chip makers bucked the lower overall trend as strong earnings from Nvidia lifted sentiment in the space.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell about 34 points, with Intel as the biggest decliner. But a 1.5 percent gain in Disney shares capped losses in the 30-stock index.

The S&P 500 declined 0.2 percent, with health care as the biggest declining sector. Coty was the worst-performing stock in the index, falling 4.6 percent.

The Nasdaq composite pulled back 0.2 percent.

The Dow and S&P 500 were on track to snap an eight-week winning; the Nasdaq was on pace to end a six-week winning streak.

"Short-term overbought conditions are still in place, so we think it will take a couple of weeks for the pullback to run its course," said Katie Stockton, chief technical strategist at BTIG. "The loss of momentum is likely to be most pronounced in stocks that have extended their uptrends over the past several weeks."

Nvidia posted earnings per share and revenue that easily beat analyst expectations. The company's stock rose 4 percent and was the best performer in the S&P 500.

"We've been bearish for most of this year, anticipating that a slowdown in gaming would drive sharp revenue deceleration in 2017," said Nomura Instinet analyst Romit Shah, in a note. "However, Nvidia demonstrated good diversity in gaming with Nintendo Switch and crypto-currency, offsetting weakness in core gaming earlier in the year."

Other chip makers, including Micron and Advanced Micro Devices, also saw their shares rise. The semiconductor space has been on fire this year. The iShares PHLX Semiconductor exchange-traded fund (SOXX) is up more than 40 percent in 2017.

The retail sector also saw positive earnings surprises, with J.C. Penney shares surging 16 percent on stronger-than-expected quarterly results. Nordstrom's results also beat expectations, but the stock fell slightly on a bigger-than-expected decline in same-store sales, a key metric for retailers.

U.S. stocks were coming off a volatile session. On Thursday, the three major indexes fell more than 1 percent before closing well off their session lows. Stocks felt pressure after details of a Senate tax plan emerged. The plan would delay a corporate tax cut until 2019, a source told CNBC.