Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Thursday, July 18:
1. Netflix tumbles as U.S. subscribers fall
Shares in Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) plummeted 11% in pre-market trade Thursday as the company disappointed with quarterly subscriber numbers.
Not only did the online streaming service lose 126,000 subscribers in the U.S. during the second quarter, the first decline since 2011, it also managed to add only 2.7 million paid subscribers worldwide, far short of the Factset consensus of 5.3 million.
Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) suggested that the second quarter was a blip on its record, partly to be blamed by a lack of fresh content. It expects to bounce back in the third quarter with the release of the latest season of “Stranger Things”, new episodes for “The Crown” and the final season of “Orange is the New Black”. It projects 7 million paid subscriber additions worldwide.
2. IBM disappoints as Morgan Stanley , Microsoft step up
IBM (NYSE: IBM ) appeared to add to tech disappointment, with shares off more than 1% in pre-market trade after its quarterly update on Wednesday. Although a positive performance in its cloud business helped push earnings above forecast, a fourth consecutive decline in group revenue for the quarter put pressure on the stock.
Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS ) will steal the spotlight on the earnings stage as it reports ahead of the opening bell. Union Pacific (NYSE: UNP ) will also be closely watched after CSX's weak numbers earlier were taken as a proxy for the broader health of the real economy. UnitedHealth (NYSE: UNH ), SunTrust Banks (NYSE: STI ), M&T Bank (NYSE: MTB ), and Honeywell International (NYSE: HON ) are also due to report.
Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT ) earnings will then bring the focus back to tech after the market close. Traders will be watching for trends in its cloud division Azure, plans for the next Windows refresh and any updates on its competition with Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN ) for a multi-billion dollar Pentagon contract.
3. Global stocks in the red as trade concerns dominate
Global shares traded lower on several signs that trade conflicts were taking a toll on economies and corporate earnings.
Wall Street ended at intraday lows Wednesday after the Wall Street Journal reported that Sino-U.S. trade talks are stalled over restrictions on Huawei, citing people familiar with negotiations.
Japan's exports slumped yet again, falling 6.7% in June, while manufacturers' confidence fell to a three-year low in July on the back of slowing Chinese growth.
The Bank of Korea unexpectedly cut interest rates for the first time in three years as Japan’s export controls on materials for South Korea’s chipmakers and the slowdown in China raised risks to Asia’s fourth-largest economy.
In Europe, software firm SAP (NYSE: SAP ), the region’s most valuable tech stock by market cap, reported poor earnings and highlighted the impact of the U.S.-China trade war.
4. Jobless claims, Philly Fed survey and more Fed speeches
Beyond earnings from American firms, markets will receive readings on the U.S. labor market and regional manufacturing activity.
The influential New York Fed President John Williams will be on watch as he delivers a keynote address on monetary policy at the 2019 Annual Meeting of the Central Bank Research Association. Atlanta Fed chief Raphael Bostic is also scheduled for an appearance.
5. Oil steadies, breaking 3-day loss
Oil prices traded slightly higher in early morning trade, breaking three straight days of declines.
Crude has been under pressure this week after Hurricane Barry caused less damage than expected to the Gulf of Mexico, suggesting that its impact on production will be short-lived.
Adding to this week’s selloff, data from the Energy Information Administration showed Wednesday that gasoline and distillate stockpiles surged last week, more than offsetting a slightly larger-than-expected draw on crude inventories.
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