* Goldman Sachs falls, Coca-Cola climbs after earnings
* Spanish bond yields dip
* US housing starts fall, new permits jump
* Futures up: Dow 84 pts, S&P 9.9 pts, Nasdaq 14.75 pts
By Chuck Mikolajczak
NEW YORK, April 17 (Reuters) - U.S. stocks were set for a higher open on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 looking to snap a two-day drop, as investors focus on a slew of corporate results and a decline in borrowing costs for Spain.
A better-than-expected Spanish bill sale boosted confidence as yields on Spain's 10-year bond dipped below 6 percent before a longer-term debt auction later in the week. Spanish debt yields have jumped recently on concerns about the nation's fiscal stability in the latest flare-up of the euro-zone debt crisis.
European stocks gained after the auction and better-than-expected consumer sentiment data from Germany. The FTSEurofirst 300 index of leading pan-European shares gained 1.2 percent.
This week, 86 S&P 500 companies are scheduled to report results. According to Thomson Reuters data, of the 34 companies in the S&P 500 that have reported results through Monday, 76 percent have reported earnings above analyst expectations.
Goldman Sachs Group Inc edged up 0.8 percent to $118.75 in premarket trade after first-quarter earnings fell from a year earlier but were better than many analysts had anticipated.
Coca-Cola Co climbed 1.2 percent to $73.30 premarket trades as the world's largest soft drink maker reported a higher quarterly profit.
Johnson & Johnson shares advanced 0.7 percent to $64.43 in premarket trade after posting first-quarter results and providing a full-year outlook.
"Earnings are coming in well enough to support the market and stabilize any significant downdraft. Spain specifically with the 10-year yield topping 6 percent, that is a headline that really instills fear into the market." said Peter Kenny, managing director at Knight Capital In Jersey City, New Jersey.
"And though the earnings environment will continue to get more challenging moving forward into this recovery, there is no question earnings have been supportive of the market."
S&P 500 futures rose 9.9 points and were above fair value, a formula that evaluates pricing by taking into account interest rates, dividends and time to expiration on the contract. Dow Jones industrial average futures gained 84 points, and Nasdaq 100 futures added 14.75 points.
Commerce Department data painted a mixed picture on housing as groundbreaking on U.S. homes fell unexpectedly in March, but permits for future construction rose to their highest level in 3 1/2 years.
International Business Machines Corp reports earnings after the bell on Tuesday, and investors are hoping strong software demand will make for a repeat of last year's first-quarter performance, when the company raised its full year forecast.
A unit of Toshiba Corp is in talks to buy IBM Corp's point-of-sale terminal business, which includes cash registers, a source familiar with the deal said on Tuesday.
Yahoo Inc is also due to unveil earnings after the close, but the report may be overshadowed by comments from its new chief executive, Scott Thompson, who is expected to lay out his vision for the struggling web pioneer.
A Federal Reserve report showed U.S. industrial output was flat for a second straight month in March, held back by a drop in manufacturing, and capacity utilization, a measure of how fully firms are using their resources, fell to 78.6 percent from 78.7 percent in February.
Apple Inc shares gained 0.4 percent to $582.43 in premarket trading. Shares of the iPad maker have fallen in five straight sessions for an 8.8 percent decline, the longest losing streak for the stock since September.