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Wall Street rebounds after two-day fall; Netflix slides

Stock Markets1 hour ago (Apr 21, 2021 01:00PM ET)

(C) Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A U.S flag is seen on the New York Stock Exchange in the Manhattan borough of New York City

By Shreyashi Sanyal and Devik Jain

(Reuters) -Wall Street’s main indexes rose on Wednesday after falling for two straight sessions, as gains in mega-cap stocks more than offset declines in Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) following disappointing results.

Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) Inc and Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:MSFT) were the biggest boosts on the S&P 500 index by early afternoon trading, while streaming service provider Netflix tumbled 7.3%.

Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were higher, with communication services, which houses Netflix, and the defensive utilities sectors falling. The S&P 500 technology sector gained 0.6%.

“Investors feel more confident of the earnings growth prospects for technology… they would rather gravitate toward the sure thing, which right now is tech stocks,” said Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York.

“We’re seeing a bit of a knee-jerk snapback, short-term bounce with traders looking to take advantage of short-term weakness.”

With the first-quarter earnings season picking up pace, analysts expect profit for S&P 500 companies to jump 31.9% from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

At 12:40 p.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 209.36 points, or 0.62%, at 34,030.66, the S&P 500 was up 23.60 points, or 0.57%, at 4,158.54 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 93.98 points, or 0.68%, at 13,880.25.

Anthem Inc rose 0.3% after the health insurer raised its full-year profit target, as lower demand for non-COVID-19 healthcare services helped it rein in medical costs and beat quarterly profit estimates.

Shares of bigger rival UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) gained 0.2%, helping support the Dow Jones index.

Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) dropped 0.4% after it lost more wireless subscribers than expected in the first quarter. Shares of T-Mobile US (NASDAQ:TMUS) Inc and AT&T Inc (NYSE:T) were also lower.

U.S. railroad operator CSX Corp (NASDAQ:CSX) fell 4.6% after it missed estimates for first-quarter profit, hurt by frigid polar vortex temperatures, ongoing pandemic disruptions and higher fuel costs.

Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.39-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 3.21-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. The S&P index recorded 71 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 52 new highs and 49 new lows.

Wall Street rebounds after two-day fall; Netflix slides

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