By Peter Nurse
Investing.com - U.S. stocks are seen opening largely unchanged Wednesday, although Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) is likely to be a drag on the tech-heavy Nasdaq after reporting a dramatic slowdown in its subscriber growth.
The earnings season is in full swing and companies have generally been handing in solid quarterly results, but the bar is high for earnings to lift the major averages after the recent record highs.
A lot of the market’s focus Wednesday will be on Netflix, after the streaming giant became the first of the so-called FAANG stocks - the five prominent technology companies which dominate the major indices - to report earnings after the close Tuesday.
While Netflix offered up strong first-quarter earnings, it also reported that just under 4 million people signed up from January through March, a pronounced slowdown from the record 15.8 million customers it added a year ago as the pandemic forced people to stay at home. It also estimated it will add just 1 million new streaming customers in the second quarter, way below the forecast of nearly 4.8 million.
Wednesday offers a mix of companies reporting results, with telecoms conglomerate Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) the headliner in the morning, while Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS ) and Chipotle Mexican Grill (NYSE: CMG ) are among the slate of corporates due after the close. Whirlpool (NYSE: WHR )'s guidance may also be scanned for what it says about the health of consumer durables as Americans rediscover their freedom for spending on services.
Elsewhere, investors will be keeping an eye on Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL ) after the iPhone maker announced on Tuesday a new line of slim iMac computers and iPads as well as the AirTags product to find lost items.
There's not much U.S. economic data due for release Wednesday, but the release of the weekly MBA mortgage applications index should give an insight into the state of the housing market.
Oil prices weakened Wednesday, falling to the lowest levels this week, as a surprise build in U.S. crude oil supplies renewed fuel demand worries.
U.S. crude oil stocks rose by 436,000 last week, according to data from industry body the American Petroleum Institute , compared with an expected draw of around 3 million barrels.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its inventory data for last week later Wednesday.
Further negative news includes soaring Covid-19 cases in India, the second-biggest net importer of crude oil, as well as in two important regions in Japan, with Tokyo and Osaka both seeking emergency lockdowns to combat the virus.
U.S. crude futures traded 1.3% lower at $61.82 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 1.2% to $65.77.
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