NEW YORK (AP) — Wall Street edged higher on Wednesday in premarket trading, after European markets rose after a mixed session in Asia.
Dow Jones Industrials S&P 500 futures each rose 0.4%.
Shares of Netflix lost more than a quarter of their value in after-hours trading after the streaming service reported an unexpected drop in subscriber numbers last quarter. Netflix’s customer base plummeted by 200,000 subscribers in the January-March quarter, a contraction that has the company considering changes it has long resisted: minimizing password sharing and creating a sustained low-cost subscription by advertising.
Netflix shares fell $95.40, or 27.4%, to $253.20 with about an hour to go until US markets open.
Markets have mostly risen, although the conflict in Ukraine has intensified in recent days.
Russia was pounding Ukrainian cities and sending more troops into the war as it pursued a new offensive that sought to cut the country in two in a battle for control of the country’s eastern industrial heartland, made up of mines and coal factories.
The German DAX rose 1.3%, the CAC 40 in Paris climbed 1.4% and the UK FTSE 100 edged up 0.2%.
Authorities in Shanghai have allowed 4 million people to leave their homes, easing a strict lockdown that has heightened concerns about China’s slowing economy. Health officials in Shanghai said a major coronavirus outbreak was “under effective control” in parts of the city of 25 million, China’s commercial capital and home to its largest port.
Nearly 12 million people have been allowed outside following an initial easing last week.
The International Monetary Fund cut its forecast for Chinese economic growth, to 4.4% from 8.1% last year, and warned that the global flow of industrial goods could be disrupted by zero-COVID checks that confined residents of Shanghai and dozens of other cities to their homes, some for weeks.
Also on Wednesday, the dollar fell slightly from a 20-year high against the Japanese yen to 127.78 yen to the dollar. The yen’s weakness reflects a divergence between higher interest rates in the United States, where the Federal Reserve is looking to tame inflation, and unchanged rates in Japan, where the central bank kept its benchmark rate at minus 0 .1% for years.
Japanese exports are more competitive overseas and corporate profits are bigger when converted from dollars to yen when the yen is weak. But a weaker yen raises import costs for both consumers and businesses.
Japan declared its trade deficit p persisted in March as imports jumped 31% on the back of soaring oil prices and a weaker yen. The 412 billion yen ($3.2 billion) deficit was four times analysts’ estimates and a reversal from a surplus of 615 billion yen in March 2021.
In Asian trading, Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 gained 0.9% to 27,217.85 while South Korea’s Kospi was virtually unchanged at 2,718.69.
The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong fell 0.4% to 20,944.67 and the Shanghai Composite index slid 1.4% to 3,174.35 after regulators kept the key interest rate unchanged. , thwarting hopes that it could be reduced to encourage more lending.
In Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 gained 0.1% to 7,569.20. India’s Sensex gained 1% while Bangkok’s SET rose 0.3%.
On Tuesday, stocks overcame a weak start to end broadly higher, giving Wall Street’s major indexes their best day in nearly five weeks.
The S&P 500 rose 1.6%, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.5% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq added 2.2%.
Stocks have mostly struggled this year amid uncertainty about how the U.S. economy and businesses will be affected as the Federal Reserve decides to reverse low interest rate policies that have helped markets to soar in recent years.
Investors focus on the current series of corporate bulletins as more and more major companies report their earnings. Railroad giant CSX will report results on Wednesday, along with Tesla. American Airlines and Union Pacific will release their results on Thursday.
Also on Wednesday, the National Association of Realtors releases its home sales report for the month of March.
The latest round of earnings comes as investors try to gauge how businesses and consumers are coping with rising inflation that has made everything from food to clothes and gasoline more expensive.
U.S. crude oil gained $1.50 to $104.06 a barrel in electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange. It fell $5.56 on Tuesday to $102.05 a barrel.
Brent crude, the standard for international oil pricing, added $1.43 to $108.68 a barrel.
The euro fell from $1.0789 to $1.0838.
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