Stock futures open little changed after Netflix earnings miss and its shares tank

Netflix Co-founder, Chairman & CEO Reed Hastings attends a Q&A during a Transatlantic Forum in Lille, France.

Sylvain Lefevre | Getty Images

U.S. stock futures were flat Thursday night after Netflix’s quarterly report sent the stock tumbling and raised concern about one of the best-performing spaces in the market during the pandemic.

Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 futures traded marginally higher and Nasdaq-100 futures climbed 0.2%.

Netflix reported second-quarter earnings that missed analyst expectations, pushing the stock down 10% in after-hours trading. The company’s guidance for third-quarter subscriber growth — a key metric for the streaming giant — also contributed to the steep sell-off in the stock.

Netflix expects to add 2.5 million subscribers in the third quarter. That’s well below a FactSet estimate of 5.27 million.

“This is a terrible number,” Tim Seymour, founder of Seymour Asset Management, told CNBC’s “Fast Money,” referring to Netflix’s subscription growth guidance. “There is a very competitive environment. When I look at Disney+ and how quickly they’ve built those subs over 50 million and you look at saturation in the United States, Netflix has to be an international story … International is not going to be growing as fast as possible.”

Those results come as Netflix, along with other major tech stocks, have struggled this week. Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet and Microsoft are all down week to date.

Wall Street was also coming off a broad decline as investors pored over a mixed batch of economic data. The Dow slid 135 points, or 0.5%, to snap a four-day winning streak. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite dipped 0.3% and 0.7%, respectively. 

Initial weekly jobless claims rose by 1.3 million in the week ending July 11. Economists polled by Dow Jones expected a gain of 1.25 million.

Meanwhile, retail sales jumped 7.5% last month, topping a Dow Jones forecast of a 5.2% gain. June’s sharp gains come after sales surged by a record 17.7% in May.

Gregory Faranello, head of U.S. rates trading at AmeriVet Securities, said the market took the better-than-forecast retail sales data with “a grain of salt.”

“We’re rolling into this period of coronavirus cases increasing and we’ve had some shutdowns,” Faranello said. “So, there’s definitely a sense of nervousness in the market.”

More than 3.5 million coronavirus cases have been confirmed in the U.S., according to Johns Hopkins University. Some states, including California, Florida and Texas, have had to roll back reopening measures to curb a recent spike in cases.

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