Coronavirus, Netflix, Boeing 747 - 5 Things You Must Know Friday

The U.S. sets another daily record for coronavirus infections; Netflix falls on weak subscriber guidance; the Boeing 747 will be retired by British Airways.
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Here are five things you must know for Friday, July 17:

1. -- Stock Futures Rise Amid U.S. Record for Virus Infections

Stock futures rose Friday as the United States set another daily record for coronavirus infections and investors eyed the next round of government support for an economy battered by the pandemic.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 77 points, futures for the S&P 500 were up 14 points and Nasdaq futures rose 104 points.

The U.S. reported more than 77,000 new coronavirus cases on Thursday and deaths in a 24-hour period rose by nearly 1,000, according to Reuters.

The New York Times put the number of new coronavirus cases at 75,600 and said it was the 11th time in the past month that the daily record had been broken. 

The fear on Wall Street is that rising coronavirus infections could threaten any recovery for the U.S., forcing many businesses and states to reimpose lockdowns.

Those concerns led stocks lower Thursday as data pointed to an uncertain outlook for the economy as coronavirus cases across the country continued to rise. The Dow ended a four-day winning streak.

Data released Thursday showed 1.3 million people filed for unemployment benefits last week, the 17th straight week in which initial jobless claims totaled at least 1 million.

“Conditions in the labor market remain weak and the risk of mounting permanent job losses is high, especially if activity continues to be disrupted by repeated virus-related shutdowns,” said Rubeela Farooqi, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

Democrats and Republicans have disagreed on the size of the next virus relief package and where the money should be allocated. The last stimulus measure will run out in the next few weeks.

2. -- Netflix Falls on Weak Subscriber Guidance

Netflix  (NFLX) - Get Report fell 8.01% to $485.16 in premarket trading Friday after the streaming giant added 10.1 million new paid subscribers in the second quarter but issued third-quarter guidance short of analysts' estimates.

Netflix also announced that Ted Sarandos, programming chief, was named co-CEO along with co-founder Reed Hastings. Sarandos will remain chief content officer.

Netflix posted earnings in the second quarter of $1.59 a share vs. 60 cents a year earlier. Revenue of $6.15 billion rose from $4.92 billion a year earlier and topped forecasts of $1.82.

However, the company expects to add just 2.5 million paid subscribers in the third quarter, well below estimates of 5.27 million paid net additions. 

In a letter to shareholders, Netflix said that it saw significant "pull-forward" in subscriber additions in the first quarter and second quarter due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

"As a result, we expect less growth for the second half of 2020 compared to the prior year," the company said.

Hastings, meanwhile, said he has no plans to leave Netflix.

"To be totally clear, I’m in for a decade," said Hastings. "This is two of us full time." 

3. -- Coronavirus - The Latest

The number of confirmed global cases of the coronavirus has risen to 13,810,534, according to Johns Hopkins University, and deaths increased to 590,004.

The U.S. has 3,576,430 cases of the coronavirus, the most in the world, according to Johns Hopkins. Deaths in the U.S. have risen to 138,359, also the most in the world.

Florida reported 156 new fatalities on Thursday, breaking its single-day death record for the second time this week.

Texas had its worst day with 129 deaths from Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, while the state recorded 10,000 new coronavirus cases for a third straight day. 

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, said during an interview with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg that the U.S. needed to "regroup, call a time out,” as states reopened too quickly without first getting the virus under control.

4. -- Housing Starts and BlackRock Earnings on Friday's Calendar

The economic calendar Friday includes Housing Starts for June at 8:30 a.m. ET and Consumer Sentiment for July at 10 a.m.

BlackRock  (BLK) - Get Report posted stronger-than-expected second-quarter earnings on the strength of $100 billion in client inflows amid the peak of market volatility during the coronavirus pandemic.

The stock rose 1.26% to $574.10 in premarket trading.

5. -- British Airways to Retire Boeing 747 Fleet

British Airways, the world’s biggest operator of Boeing  (BA) - Get Report 747-400s, will retire its entire fleet of the jumbo jet as the coronavirus pandemic has severely damaged air travel demand.

“It is unlikely our magnificent ‘queen of the skies’ will ever operate commercial services for British Airways again due to the downturn in travel caused by the Covid-19 global pandemic,” the airline said in a statement.

British Airways has used the Boeing 747-400 model since July 1989.