By Sruthi Shankar
April 26 (Reuters) – Wall Street was set for a positive start on Thursday, driven by strong earnings from Facebook and a handful of chipmakers, coupled with a slight retreat in bond yields.
The tech-laden Nasdaq Composite index was set to open more than 80 points higher and break its five-day losing streak, its longest since November 2016.
Visa rose 2.7 percent after the world’s largest payments network topped Wall Street targets for quarterly profit and raised its full-year earnings forecast.
Advanced Micro Devices and Qualcomm were up 10.3 percent and about 0.8 percent after the chipmakers posted quarterly results that beat Wall Street estimates, easing concerns about weak demand for smartphones after some Asian peers warned of slower growth.
Intel, set to report after market closes on Thursday, was up 2.0 percent.
“We are right in the thick of earnings season and some of them have been a bit of a surprise,” said Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas.
Despite strong results from most U.S. firms that have reported so far, investors have been reacting to signs that rising inflation could take a toll on corporate profits.
The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield, the benchmark for global borrowing costs, crossed the 3 percent level on Tuesday for the first time in four years, on an increase in federal borrowing, inflation concerns and bets on further rate increases by the Federal Reserve.
But the 10-year yield retreated slightly from 3 percent before markets opened.
“A slight pullback in yields is likely to give investors a chance to focus on corporate results,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities in New York.
At 8:48 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 46 points, or 0.19 percent. S&P 500 e-minis were up 7.5 points, or 0.28 percent and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 49.5 points, or 0.76 percent.
Of the 154 S&P 500 companies that reported first-quarter earnings as of Wednesday, 81.2 percent topped profit estimates. Analysts now expect earnings growth of 22 percent, according to Thomson Reuters data.
Shares of the No. 2 U.S. automaker Ford jumped 2.4 percent after it outlined a plan to cut costs and boost profit margins at a faster pace than previously announced.
General Motors fell about 0.6 percent after the company reported a lower quarterly profit.
AT&T fell 4.4 percent after the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier reported a lower-than-expected profit as the company lost subscribers from its pay TV business.
Some of the other heavy-hitters reporting after market close include Amazon and Microsoft.