May 24, 2022

US markets poised to open higher while Netflix tumbles 27%

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By DAMIAN J. TROISE

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks edged mostly higher in morning trading on Wall Street Wednesday, but were held back by streaming entertainment giant Netflix, which lost lost more than a third of its value after reporting its first subscriber loss in more than a decade and predicting more grim times ahead.

The S&P 500 rose 0.1% as of 10:17 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 224 points, or 0.6%, to 35,135 and the Nasdaq fell 0.6%.

Big technology companies were again doing much of the heavy lifting after helping to power the market higher a day earlier. IBM rose 5.8% after reporting solid financial results. Chipmaker Intel rose 1%.

Netflix slumped 34%. The company suffered its first subscriber loss in more than a decade and expects a steeper decline during the current quarter. It is also considering changes that it has long resisted, including minimizing password sharing and creating a low-cost subscription supported by advertising.

Banks and a mix of household product makes made solid gains. Bank of America rose 1%. Charmin and Dawn maker Procter & Gamble rose 3% after beating analysts quarterly earnings forecasts.

Bond yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury fell to 2.88% from 2.91%.

Investors continue focusing on the latest round of corporate earnings as they try to determine how companies are dealing with rising inflation and cost pressures. Railroad operator CSX, electric vehicle maker Tesla and United Airlines will report their results later Wednesday. American Airlines and Union Pacific will report results on Thursday.

Inflation has been putting increasing pressure on a wide range of industries and increasingly squeezing consumers. Rising prices have prompted the Federal Reserve and other central banks to raise interest rates in order to help temper inflation’s impact. The Fed has already announced a quarter-percentage point rate hike and Wall Street expects a half-percentage rate hike at its next meeting in two weeks.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing conflict has only added to the worries about rising inflation crimping economic growth. The conflict has pushed energy and commodity prices higher.

U.S. crude were mostly stable on Wednesday, but are up 36% for the year and have been pushing gasoline prices higher. Wheat prices are up 40% for the year and that has the potential to increase prices for a wide range of food products globally.

Stocks have mostly struggled this year because of the confluence of concerns. Meanwhile virus lockdowns in China are easing. Authorities in Shanghai allowed 4 million people to leave their homes, but the lockdowns have left the Chinese economy damaged.

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