Wall Street set to rise on upbeat earnings, strong retail sales By Reuters

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© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) building after the start of Thursday’s trading session in New York

By Shivani Kumaresan and Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) – U.S. stock indexes looked set to open higher on Thursday as upbeat earnings reports from several companies including Bank of America (NYSE:) and BlackRock as well as a strong rebound in March retail sales bolstered hopes of a broader economic rebound.

Bank of America’s shares rose 0.6% in premarket trading after the lender’s first-quarter profit benefited from a $2.7 billion reserve release and gains in trading and investment banking units.

Top U.S. banks kicked off first-quarter reporting season on Wednesday, with Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:), JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:) & Co posting bumper results.

“With equities lingering near a record, investors are looking to the earnings season for further catalysts,” said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities in New York.

“Expectations of a strong profit rebound have helped markets rally, setting the bar high as reporting gets underway.”

BlackRock Inc (NYSE:), the world’s largest asset manager, gained 1.4% after reporting a 16% jump in first-quarter profit, while PepsiCo (NASDAQ:) Inc edged 0.5% higher after it forecast a pickup in organic revenue growth in the second quarter.

Most high-flying technology stocks rebounded from a drop in the previous session, with Apple Inc (NASDAQ:), Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:) Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:) and Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:) rising between 0.5% and 1.2%.

The recent pullback in U.S. bond yields and the Federal Reserve’s reassurance on keeping interest rates low have led to renewed demand for growth stocks, which suffered sharp losses in recent weeks as rising yields raised concerns over their high valuations.

Further bolstering sentiment on Thursday, data showed retail sales rebounded sharply in March as Americans received additional pandemic relief checks from the government, while jobless claims fell more than expected to 576,000 last week.

The newly-listed cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase added 8%, a day after going public in a high-profile debut on the Nasdaq that briefly valued it at more than $100 billion.

At 8:46 a.m. ET, were up 167 points, or 0.5%, were up 25.5 points, or 0.62%, and were up 144.25 points, or 1.05%.

Dell Technologies (NYSE:) Inc jumped 7.7%, as brokerages Evercore and Credit Suisse (SIX:) raised price targets, after the company said it would spin off its 81% stake in cloud computing software maker VMware (NYSE:), creating two standalone public companies.

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