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Netflix, Tesla, Snap and Stimulus - 5 Things You Must Know Wednesday

Stock futures lower amid renewed hopes over stimulus talks; Netflix slides as subscribers growth slows; Tesla reports earnings; Snap posts a surprise profit.

Here are five things you must know for Wednesday, Oct. 21:

1. -- Stock Futures Lower Amid Stimulus Optimism

Stock futures suggested a weaker start for Wall Street Wednesday even as hopes over stimulus negotiations in Washington have brightened.

Contracts linked to the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 46 points, S&P 500 futures dipped 5 points and Nasdaq futures were down 33 points.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed some optimism Tuesday that a stimulus agreement could be reached this week.

“That’s the plan. That’s what I would hope,” Pelosi said following a phone call with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The two will be speaking again Wednesday, a day after Pelosi's self-imposed deadline to agree on terms of a relief package. 

However, many Senate Republicans remain opposed to a relief package the size of what the administration has offered - $1.88 trillion - and Pelosi's proposal of $2.2 trillion.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has warned the White House not to rush into an agreement before the election, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the matter.

Stocks ended higher Tuesday on the backs of a number of solid earnings reports and optimism that U.S. lawmakers could come to an agreement on providing more economic aid.

2. -- Netflix Slides After Subscribers Growth Slows

Netflix  (NFLX)  was falling nearly 6% in premarket trading Wednesday after the streaming giant posted earnings and new subscribers that came in below analysts’ expectations.

The company reported third-quarter earnings of $1.74 a share on revenue of $6.44 billion. Analysts were expecting Netflix to report earnings of $2.13 a share on revenue of $6.38 billion.

Netflix said it added 2.2 million paid subscribers in the quarter, missing its own guidance of 2.5 million new subscribers and analysts' estimates of 3.32 million. Netflix had reported an increase of 10.1 million subscribers in the June quarter and 15.8 million in the March quarter.

The company said it expects to add 6 million paid net subscribers in the fourth quarter, below forecasts of 6.54 million.

“We expected and knew there would be some level of slowdown,” said Chief Financial Officer Spencer Neumann on a video conference call.

Netflix said the slowing subscriber growth was a result of record first half paid net additions, or what it referred to as a "pull forward" effect.

The stock fell 5.7% to $495.45 in premarket trading.

3. -- Tesla, Abbott and Chipotle Report Earnings

Verizon Communications  (VZ)  reported third-quarter adjusted earnings of $1.25 a share, 3 cents above analysts' forecasts, and the telecommunications giant raised its 2020 earnings outlook.

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Abbot Laboratories  (ABT)  reported third-quarter adjusted profit of 98 cents a share, 7 cents higher than estimates.

Earnings reports are also expected Wednesday from Tesla  (TSLA) , Chipotle Mexican Grill  (CMG) , Las Vegas Sands  (LVS) , Lam Research  (LRCX) , Biogen  (BIIB) , Whirlpool  (WHR) , CSX  (CSX) , Discover Financial Services  (DFS)  and Xilinx  (XLNX) .

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The economic calendar in the U.S. Wednesday includes MBA Mortgage Applications for the week ended Oct. 16 at 7 a.m. ET, Oil Inventories for the week ended Oct. 16 at 10:30 a.m. and the Federal Reserve's "Beige Book" at 2 p.m.

4. -- Snap Soars After Posting a Surprise Profit, Strong User Growth

Snap  (SNAP) , the parent of social media company Snapchat, was soaring Wednesday after surprising Wall Street by posting an adjusted profit in the third quarter.

The stock jumped 23.37% to $35.10 in premarket trading.

Snap reported adjusted profit of 1 cent a share compared with a year-earlier loss of 4 cents. Revenue rose 52% to $678.7 million from $446.2 million.

Analysts had expected Snap to report an adjusted loss of 5 cents a share.

The company said daily active users during the third quarter rose 18% from a year earlier to 249 million.

Snap attributed the gains to In prepared remarks, 

Snap Chief Business Officer Jeremi Gorman attributed the third-quarter gains to “the beginnings of a recovery from brand advertisers, and continued resilience from direct response advertisers.” 

“We continue to invest heavily in ranking, optimization, and measurement in order to deliver measurable ROI for our advertising partners,” Gorman said. “It was our investments in our self-serve ad platform and our ability to service our customers during a challenging time that allowed us to onboard a record number of advertisers this quarter.”

5. -- GM Unveils the 2022 GMC Hummer EV

General Motors  (GM)  unveiled its first all-electric Hummer - the 2022 GMC Hummer EV, on Tuesday night.

"Edition 1" of the Hummer EV pickup will be available next fall and will start at $112,595. 

The truck will have 350 miles of range on a full battery. The Hummer EV also will be capable of charging at rates of up to 100 miles in 10 minutes.

“This is all about people who just love the best in automotive innovation, performance, capability and technology,” GMC Vice President Duncan Aldred told CNBC. “These are the people who you may have seen buy the exotic sports car type brands. This will be the must-have item.”

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