U.S. stock index futures were flat on Wednesday as investors weighed the impact of supply chain constraints and inflation on corporate earnings, while Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) shares remained sluggish after its quarterly report.
Netflix's global sensation "Squid Game" helped lure more customers than expected, the world's largest streaming service said as it predicted a packed lineup would further boost signups
through the end of the year.
Its shares, however, fell 2.7% after hitting a record high earlier this month and gaining 18.2% year-to-date.
Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to rise 32.4% from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv data, while also keeping a close eye on growth outlook from companies that are faced with rising costs, labor shortages and supply chain disruptions.
"Investor response to the latest set of earnings reports has been a touch hit and miss with supply chain issues dogging both Procter and Gamble and Philip Morris (NYSE:PM)," wrote Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell in a client note.
Other mega cap technology and communication names were mixed in premarket trading. Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), up 0.6%, is planning to rebrand itself with new name that focuses on metaverse, according to the Verge.
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc edged 0.4% lower in the run up to its quarterly results after markets close, with investors awaiting details on its performance in China.
Anthem Inc rose 0.6% as the second largest health U.S. insurer raised its profit outlook for 2021 after beating third-quarter profit estimates.
United Airlines Holdings (NASDAQ:UAL) gained 1.6% after the carrier reported a smaller quarterly loss than a year ago on travel rebound.
The benchmark S&P 500 index is just 0.4% below its early September record close, while the Dow Jones Industrials average is 0.5% below its all-time high reached in mid-August.
U.S. stock indexes closed higher on Tuesday with the biggest boosts from the technology and healthcare sectors amid optimism about solid third-quarter earnings season.
Verizon (NYSE:VZ) Communication, Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT), Tesla Inc, Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) and IBM (NYSE:IBM) are set to report their earnings later in the day.
At 7:19 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 8 points, or 0.02%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 0.25 points, or 0.01%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 10 points, or 0.06%.
Ford Motor (NYSE:F) gained 1.9% after Credit Suisse (SIX:CSGN) upgraded the U.S. automaker's stock to 'outperform' on EV transition.
Oil majors Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron Corp (NYSE:CVX) slipped 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively, tracking crude prices.