The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell on Wednesday as streaming giant Netflix slumped after shedding subscribers for the first time in a decade, stoking worries among investors about their bets on high-growth companies set to report results.
Netflix Inc plunged 36.6% and was set for its worst day since October 2004, as it blamed inflation, the Ukraine war and fierce competition for the subscriber loss and predicted deeper losses ahead.
Megacap stocks including Amazon.com Inc, Tesla and Meta Platforms Inc fell between 2.3% and 5.3%, while streaming peers Walt Disney, Roku and Warner Bros Discovery dropped between 4.5% and 8.3%.
“Technology saw a huge surge in earnings coming off COVID lows, now the bar is quite high. It could be a struggle for technology this earnings season,” said Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist at LPL Financial.
Market-leading technology and growth stocks have suffered this year as investors worry that rising interest rates will dent their futures earnings. The Nasdaq is down nearly 14% so far this year, while the benchmark S&P 500 is down 6%.
“The FAANG stocks are still very important, they drive a lot of earnings and investors are heavily invested in them but as the cycle ages, some of the importance on growth stocks has decreased with yields going higher,” Detrick said.
The communication services sector declined 3.3%, leading losses among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors.
However, the S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow gained ground after some positive earnings reports.
Consumer giant Procter & Gamble gained 2.6% after raising its annual sales forecast and IT giant IBM Corp jumped 6.3% as it forecast hitting the top end of its 2022 revenue growth estimate.
Overall, the earnings season has started on a strong note. Of the 60 companies in the S&P 500 index that reported results so far, nearly 80% exceeded profit expectations, as per Refinitiv data. Typically, 66% beat estimates.
Meanwhile, the yield on 10-year Treasury note receded to 2.89%, after a blistering rally that pushed it close to the key 3% level earlier in the session.
Investors will be focus on the Federal Reserve’s “Beige Book” on economic conditions from late February to early April for further details on the monetary policy tightening plans.
At 10:28 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 247.13 points, or 0.71%, at 35,158.33, the S&P 500 was up 7.70 points, or 0.17%, at 4,469.91, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 89.51 points, or 0.66%, at 13,530.15.
Shares in chip equipment makers Applied Materials and Lam Research rose more than 2.5% each after Dutch company ASML beat expectations for first-quarter results. ASML’s U.S.-listed shares jumped 4.6%.
Tesla Inc fell 3.1% ahead of its first-quarter results after the closing bell.
Investors will keep an eye on whether the electric automaker maintains its ambitious 2022 delivery target as its biggest factory in Shanghai grapples with a COVID-19 shutdown and new plants slowly ramp up output.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.86-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.04-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 60 new 52-week highs and two new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 63 new highs and 96 new lows.