Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Wall Street looks steady after S&P 500, Nasdaq saw 5-day win streaks
- Bitcoin inches toward a record high after first bitcoin ETF debuted
- Netflix beats on subscribers; United reports smaller loss
- Novavax plunges on reports of Covid vaccine manufacturing problems
- New York City workers face expanded Covid vaccine mandate
U.S. stock futures were flat Wednesday as corporate earnings continue to dominate investors' attention. More than 70 of the S&P 500 companies report this week, including Dow stock Verizon before the bell and Dow stock IBM after the close. Tesla is also scheduled to deliver quarterly numbers after the bell. In Wednesday's premarket trading, Netflix shares fell and United Airlines stock rose after issuing financial results late Tuesday.
- The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both extended their winning streaks to five sessions.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average also advanced Tuesday, logging its third gain in the past four sessions.
- The 10-year Treasury yield hit 1.67% late Tuesday night, retracing highs back to mid-May.
- The yield, which moves inversely to price, was slightly below that level Wednesday.
- U.S. oil prices fell to around $82 per barrel but still hovered around seven-year highs.
Bitcoin was steady Wednesday, trading around $63,800, only about 1.5% below its April all-time high, one day after the first U.S. bitcoin-linked exchange-traded fund launched. The ProShares Bitcoin Strategy ETF, ticker BITO, jumped 4.8% on Tuesday. The fund tracks CME bitcoin futures, or contracts speculating on the future price of bitcoin, rather than the cash price. Bitcoin ran up ahead of the ETF's debut, rebounding from a summer slump that saw the cryptocurrency briefly go below $29,000.
Netflix reported quarterly earnings of $3.19 per share, beating estimates of $2.56. Revenue of $7.48 billion matched forecasts. Netflix added 4.4 million new subscribers during the third quarter, exceeding expectations. The streaming giant did not alter its 8.5 million global subscriber forecast for the fourth quarter despite the popularity of "Squid Game" which could boost those numbers.
United Airlines reported a smaller-than-expected adjusted loss of $1.02 per share for the third quarter. Revenue of $7.75 billion was also better than estimates. United said the spread of the delta variant of Covid has slowed but not derailed its recovery. The airline didn't give a timeline for when it would return to profitability.
Novavax's stock lost about a quarter of its value in Wednesday's premarket trading following a Politico report saying the biotech company was having trouble meeting FDA quality standards for its Covid vaccine. Novavax said that in response to a recent news article citing anonymous sources that it confirms its confidence in its ability to deliver its vaccine. In June, Novavax said its coronavirus vaccine was shown to be safe and 90.4% effective overall in a phase three clinical trial of nearly 30,000 participants across the United States and Mexico.
New York City announced Wednesday an expansion of its Covid vaccine mandate to all public employees, taking away the option to test out. Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement the order applies to more than 160,000 city workers, including police officers and firefighters. It requires workers to have at least one shot by Nov. 1 or be placed on unpaid leave. About 71% of them are already at least partially vaccinated. The numbers are a bit lower in the police and fire departments. The city previously mandated vaccines for public school teachers and the state has previously mandated vaccines for hospital workers.