NEW YORK: The tech-heavy Nasdaq fell on Wednesday as streaming giant Netflix slumped after shedding subscribers for the first time in a decade, dragging down shares of high-growth companies set to report results.
The benchmark S&P 500 and the blue-chip Dow, however, stayed buoyant on the back of upbeat earnings from consumer giant Procter & Gamble and IT firm IBM Corp.
Netflix Inc plunged 36.6%, set for its worst day since October 2004, after it blamed inflation, the Ukraine war and fierce competition for the subscriber loss and predicted deeper losses ahead.
Streaming peers Walt Disney, Roku and Warner Bros Discovery dropped between 4.6% and 6%, while megacap stocks such as Amazon.com Inc, Tesla Inc and Meta Platforms Inc declined 2.6% to 7.3%.
“The Netflixes of the world, the Pelotons of the world are looked at with more scepticism as the market questions the success they have from a fundamental standpoint during the pandemic,” said Keith Buchanan, senior portfolio manager at Globalt Investments in Atlanta.
“But the rest of the market space, more value and small cap oriented industries are holding up better than the tech space.” Market-leading technology and growth stocks have suffered this year as investors worry that rising interest rates will dent their future earnings. The Nasdaq is down nearly 14% so far this year, while the benchmark S&P 500 is down 6.1%.
The communication services sector declined 3.9% on Wednesday, leading losses among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors. Overall, the earnings season has started on a strong note. Of the 60 companies in the S&P 500 index that have reported results so far, 80% exceeded profit expectations, as per Refinitiv data. Typically, 66% beat estimates.
Procter & Gamble gained 2.6% after raising its annual sales view and IBM Corp jumped 7.5% as it forecast hitting the top end of its 2022 revenue growth estimate.
At 12:19 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 293.63 points, or 0.84%, at 35,204.83, the S&P 500 was up 4.08 points, or 0.09%, at 4,466.29, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 155.16 points, or 1.14%, at 13,464.50.
The yield on 10-year Treasury note receded to 2.87% after a blistering rally that pushed it close to the key 3% level earlier in the session.
Investors will 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.
United Airlines Holdings Inc gained 1.3% ahead of its results. The S&P 1500 Airlines index has risen for six of the past seven sessions, getting a boost from news that the Biden administration was dropping mask mandate on public transportation.
Tesla Inc fell 4.4% 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 2.19-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.13-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 64 new 52-week highs and 3 new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 71 new highs and 128 new lows.