US STOCKS-Futures slip as focus shifts to earnings from tech-related firms

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(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures dipped on Tuesday as investors turned to results from Netflix and other major technology-related companies this week to sustain the positive start to the earnings season.

FILE PHOTO: The front facade of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen in New York, U.S., February 16, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Streaming service provider Netflix that thrived during last year’s lockdowns will be the first among the FAANG group to report quarterly numbers. Its shares slipped about 0.5% in pre-market trading, ahead of its results after markets close.

International Business Machines Corp rose 2.6% as it recorded highest quarterly sales growth in more than two years, boosted by its bets on the high-margin cloud computing business.

Chipmaker Intel Corp is slated to report results on Thursday.

“Optimism is running very high and the earnings outlook has likely been priced to perfection at these levels, so anything less than absolutely stellar results might be seen as a negative surprise,” said Marios Hadjikyriacos, investment analyst at online broker XM in Cyprus.

After blockbuster earnings from major U.S. banks last week, analysts expect first-quarter profit for overall S&P 500 firms to jump 30.9% from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

A pullback in longer-dated bond yields from 14-month highs has eased worries over higher borrowing costs, reviving demand for high growth technology stocks.

A string of robust economic data and expectations of a strong rebound in corporate earnings helped the S&P 500 and the Dow to hit record highs last week.

At 06:51 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were down 159 points, or 0.47%, S&P 500 E-minis were down 20.75 points, or 0.49%. Nasdaq 100 E-minis were down 64.75 points, or 0.47%

Tobacco companies, including Altria Group and Philip Morris, fell as much as 2.2% after the Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration is considering a rule that would limit nicotine or ban menthol in cigarettes.

Johnson & Johnson, whose COVID-19 vaccine was put on pause last week to review reports of rare blood clots, tightened its forecast for profits this year. Its shares slipped 0.2%.

Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila

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