Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., October 27, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

  • Qualcomm rises on upbeat outlook
  • Weekly jobless claims fall more than expected
  • Moderna tumbles as it sees lower COVID-19 vaccine sales
  • Futures up: Dow 0.01%, S&P 0.13%, Nasdaq 0.31%

Nov 4 (Reuters) – The tech-heavy Nasdaq index was set for a record open on Thursday, propped up by a slew of stellar earnings reports and as investors shrugged off the Federal Reserve’s first steps to begin paring its pandemic-era support.

Shares of Qualcomm Inc (QCOM.O) jumped 10.4% in premarket trade after the chipmaker forecast better-than-expected profit and revenue for its current quarter on soaring demand for chips used in phones, cars and other internet-connected devices. read more

Booking Holdings Inc (BKNG.O) added 4.6% after the online travel agent posted upbeat quarterly results, while MGM Resorts (MGM.N) rose 1.6% after the casino operator reported a surprise third quarter adjusted profit.

Electronic Arts Inc (EA.O) and rival Take-Two Interactive Software Inc (TTWO.O) gained 2.6% each after they boosted their 2021 adjusted sales forecasts on strong gaming boom. read more

A cheery third-quarter earnings season, coupled with an upbeat commentary about future growth from corporate America, has helped Wall Street largely dismiss concerns around rising prices, supply chain snags and a mixed macro-economic picture.

On Wednesday, a widely expected move by the Fed on announcing its plan to start tapering its monthly bond purchases beginning this month, while staying patient on raising interest rates, also helped sentiment. read more

“The near-term is going to be quite positive for markets following the Fed and especially for cyclicals because the numbers indicate Delta is behind us, reopening is here and strong,” said Rob Sechan, managing partner and co-founder of NewEdge Wealth.

“We are still very bullish on U.S. earnings and they are going to continued to be really strong across the board and the tech space especially like Google and Microsoft continue to be our top picks.”

Data showed the number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to a fresh 19-month low last week, suggesting the economy was regaining momentum. It will be followed by a more comprehensive nonfarm payrolls report on Friday. read more

At 8:39 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 3 points, or 0.01%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 6.25 points, or 0.13%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 50.25 points, or 0.31%.

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) added 1.9% and was set for a record open, while other mega-cap technology titans Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O), Google-owner Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O), Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Meta Platforms (FB.O) also edged higher.

Merck & Co (MRK.N) rose 2.6% after Britain became the first country in the world to approve its COVID-19 antiviral oral pill jointly developed with Ridgeback Biotherapeutics. read more

Moderna Inc (MRNA.O) dropped 14.3% after the vaccine maker cut its full-year sales forecast for its COVID-19 vaccine. read more

Oil firms including Exxon Mobil (XOM.N) and Chevron Corp (CVX.N) rose 1.1% and 0.8%, respectively, tracking crude prices.

Meanwhile, U.S. Representative Rick Larsen said on Wednesday his fellow House Democrats could complete votes on President Joe Biden’s social spending and infrastructure bills as early as midday on Friday. read more

Reporting by Devik Jain and Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Maju Samuel

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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