Earnings are due from Amazon, Twitter and Gilead Sciences

An iPhone advertisement in Shanghai on Feb. 12, 2021.


Qilai Shen/Bloomberg News

Here’s what we’re watching ahead of the opening bell on Thursday.

What’s Coming Up
  • Earnings are due from Amazon and Gilead Sciences after the close.
Market Movers to Watch
  • Facebook is up 8% ahead of the open after the social media company followed Google-parent Alphabet in reporting late Wednesday a first-quarter surge in advertising spending. Profit nearly doubled and overall revenue also beat forecasts.
  • The knock-out numbers from these two are also lifting Twitter , up 3.1% premarket. Good advertising revenue would boost the company’s aim to double annual sales by 2023. Its latest earnings are due after the close.
  • Chipmaker Qualcomm is also an early riser, up 6%, again on forecast-beating earnings after the market closed Wednesday.
  • One technology name not doing so well is eBay , tumbling 8.3% premarket. The auction site beat forecasts with first quarter results late Wednesday, but its guidance on current trading disappointed investors.
  • Apple shares added 2.9% premarket. Demand for new, higher-priced 5G iPhones helped fuel a more-than doubling of quarterly profit to $23.6 billion, off $89.6 billion in revenue. Apple stock has been among the weakest performers among large-cap tech companies this year, gaining less than 1%, versus a 9% rise by the Nasdaq Composite.
  • Tesla is up a touch, gaining 1% in premarket trading. There’s no fresh news, but The WSJ takes a look at how its unconventional founder—to put it mildly—has come out on top in a string of scraps with regulators.
  • Moderna shares rose 2.8% premarket. The biotech company aims to triple production of its Covid-19 vaccine next year to as much as three billion doses, as countries seek supplies.
  • Ford shares hit the brakes hard, dropping 4.2% premarket. The auto maker posted its highest quarterly net income in years, fueled by strong pricing in North America.
  • MGM Resorts shares added 2.7% premarket after the casino operator reported another quarterly loss, but it was smaller than Wall Street expected.
  • Also in leisure and travel, cruise line operators Norwegian and Carnival jumped after the CDC said U.S. sailings could begin again by mid-July. Norwegian is up 4.5% and Carnival up 3.6%
  • Comcast jumped 3.6% after reporting a 55% rise in first quarter profits on growth in broadband and wireless customers.
  • A jump in demand for big yellow diggers and other heavy machinery drove sales growth for Caterpillar in the first quarter too. It’s stock is up 2.5% premarket.
  • Merck dropped 1.8% after missing its quarterly earnings expectations Thursday, the latest in a string of drugmakers to do so.
Market Fact
  • 10-year Treasury yields have climbed steadily this year, rising to nearly 1.75% at the end of the first quarter from about 0.9% at the end of 2020 as investors anticipated an accelerating economic recovery following the worst of the pandemic.
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