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US open: Stocks mixed amid Middle East tensions; Netflix slumps

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Friday 19 Apr 2024

US open: Stocks mixed amid Middle East tensions; Netflix slumps

(Sharecast News) - US stocks were mixed in early trade on Friday amid growing tensions in the Middle East, with Netflix under the cosh after results.
At 1445 BST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.3%, the S&P 500 was flat and the Nasdaq was 0.4% weaker.

Futures were sharply lower earlier as sentiment across markets took a hit following reports that Israel had launched a limited retaliatory strike on Iran, but losses were pared into the open.

Joshua Mahony, chief market analyst at Scope Markets, said: "The widely anticipated Israeli retaliation in Iran finally took place, and whilst the initial spike in oil may have highlighted the initial fear of further escalation, we have seen both equities and crude reverse some of those preliminary moves.

"The Israeli decision to attack an area close to a nuclear facility serves as a warning that they could strike such highly sensitive targets in the future should they wish. However, the Israeli response has been notably more reserved, thanks no doubt to the influence of Western allies who have sought to avoid a wider conflict developing.

"Given the fact that Iran had provided advanced warning of their attack, it is clear that the events of the past week appear to be more about showing their willingness to act rather than actually seeking to incite a war between the two nuclear nations. For markets this is a best case scenario and should hopefully remove the fears that have been playing out within equity and energy markets in particular."

On the corporate front, Netflix tumbled 8% after its second-quarter revenue outlook fell short of expectations.

Richard Hunter, head of markets at Interactive Investor, noted that the shares fell sharply in after-hours trading despite the firm having beaten revenue and profit estimates, adding 16% to its subscriber numbers in the process.

"However, the company also noted that it would stop reporting subscriber numbers next year, which was taken as a sign that the current strength of customer growth could now be peaking," he said.

Consumer goods giant Procter & Gamble lost ground as third-quarter earnings beat Wall Street expectations, but sales missed.

Tesla was in focus on news it will recall 3878 of its Cybertrucks due to issues with the accelerator pedal.

On the upside, American Express gained as it beat first-quarter estimates.


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