Futures Flat on Worries Over Supply Chain Disruptions; Netflix Falls

By Reuters
October 20, 2021 Updated: October 20, 2021

U.S. stock index futures were flat on Wednesday as investors weighed the impact of supply chain constraints and inflation on corporate earnings, while Netflix shares remained sluggish after its quarterly report.

Netflix’s global sensation “Squid Game” helped lure more customers than expected, the world’s largest streaming service said as it predicted a packed lineup would further boost signups through the end of the year.

Its shares, however, fell 2.7 percent after hitting a record high earlier this month and gaining 18.2 percent year-to-date.

Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to rise 32.4 percent from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv data, while also keeping a close eye on growth outlook from companies that are faced with rising costs, labor shortages, and supply chain disruptions.

“Investor response to the latest set of earnings reports has been a touch hit and miss with supply chain issues dogging both Procter and Gamble and Philip Morris,” wrote Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell in a client note.

Other mega cap technology and communication names were mixed in premarket trading.

Tesla Inc. edged 0.4 percent lower in the run up to its quarterly results after markets close, with investors awaiting details on its performance in China.

Anthem Inc. rose 0.6 percent as the second largest health U.S. insurer raised its profit outlook for 2021 after beating third-quarter profit estimates.

United Airlines Holdings gained 1.6 percent after the carrier reported a smaller quarterly loss than a year ago on travel rebound.

The benchmark S&P 500 index is just 0.4 percent below its early September record close, while the Dow Jones Industrials average is 0.5 percent below its all-time high reached in mid-August.

U.S. stock indexes closed higher on Tuesday with the biggest boosts from the technology and healthcare sectors amid optimism about solid third-quarter earnings season.

Verizon Communication, Abbott Laboratories, Tesla Inc., Kinder Morgan and IBM are set to report their earnings later in the day.

At 7:19 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 8 points, or 0.02 percent, S&P 500 e-minis were down 0.25 points, or 0.01 percent, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 10 points, or 0.06 percent.

Ford Motor gained 1.9 percent after Credit Suisse upgraded the U.S. automaker’s stock to ‘outperform’ on EV transition.

Oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp. slipped 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, tracking crude prices.

By Devik Jain