Stock-index futures were little changed Wednesday as rising COVID-19 infections around the world contribute to worries over global economic growth, while Nasdaq-100 futures saw added pressure after Netflix Inc. reported disappointing subscriber numbers.
What are major indexes doing?
- Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average YM00, +0.05% were up 23 points, or 0.1%, at 33,726.
- S&P 500 futures ES00, -0.00% edged up 1.9 points, or less than 0.1%, to 4,128.50.
- Nasdaq-100 futures NQ00, -0.21% fell 17.75 points, or 0.1%, to 13,776.50.
Stocks fell for a second day Tuesday, with the Dow DJIA, -0.75% shedding 256.33 points, or 0.8%. The S&P 500 SPX, -0.68% dropped 0.7%, while the Nasdaq Composite COMP, -0.92% lost 0.9% and the small-cap Russell 2000 RUT, -1.96% slumped 2%.
What’s driving the market?
Stocks have seen a modest pullback after the S&P 500 and Dow ended at records on Friday, with analysts largely tying the decline to concerns about a renewed rise in COVID-19 infections around the world, particularly in India and Japan.
“Sentiment was hurt predominantly due to renewed worries over rising global COVID infections which could slow down the reopening of some economies,” said Fawad Razaqzada, market analyst at ThinkMarkets, in a note. “In the case of U.S. stocks, there was also an element of profit-taking after the major indices had reached or neared record levels with the earnings season in full swing now.”
India reported a record number of cases again on Wednesday, counting more than 200,000 for a seventh straight day. The country’s hospitals are reported to be filling rapidly, it is running out of ICU beds and running low on oxygen.
News reports said Japanese officials were considering ordering a state of emergency for Tokyo and Osaka due to surging COVID-19 cases.
The softer tone for markets comes as earnings season moved into full swing this week. Results from Netflix Inc. NFLX, -0.88% late Tuesday sent shares of the streaming giant down 8% and was seen weighing on Nasdaq-100 futures.
Which companies are in focus?
- Netflix late Tuesday reported 3.98 million net new paid subscribers in the first quarter, down from 8.5 million reported in the previous quarter and well below the 6 million the company predicted three months ago.
- In deal news, Middleby Corp. MIDD, -1.03% said Wednesday it had agreed to acquire Welbilt Inc. WBT, -0.19% in an all-stock deal with an enterprise value of $4.3 billion, that would create a food equipment company with a commercial food service portfolio. Wellbilt shares jumped more than 12% in premarket action, while Middleby shares fell 6.5%.
- Government-services provider Maximus Inc. MMS, -0.87% said Wednesday it had agreed to acquire the privately held parent company of Veterans Evaluation Services Inc. for $1.4 billion.
- “Software robot” company UiPath late Tuesday priced its initial public offering at $56 a share, raising more than $1.3 billion and giving the company an initial market capitalization of $29.1 billion. It’s expected to begin trading Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “PATH.”
- Halliburton Co. HAL, -4.16% shares were up in premarket trade after the oil services company swung to a first-quarter profit that beat expectations and revenue that topped forecasts.
- Baker Hughes Co. BKR, -2.60% reported a first-quarter loss but an adjusted profit that beat expectations, while revenue fell just shy of forecasts as oil-field services and equipment revenue dropped 30%. Shares were inactive in premarket trade.
- Shares of Anthem Inc. ANTM, +0.58% were up 0.3% in premarket trade after reporting first-quarter profit that beat expectations and providing an upbeat full-year outlook, though revenue missed expectations as premiums rose less than forecast.