Investing.com — U.S. futures edge up on Wednesday, pointing to ongoing momentum in a recent rally in equities. Tesla’s (NASDAQ:) plans for a next-generation vehicle will be in the spotlight when the electric carmaker reports its latest results after the bell, while Netflix’s (NASDAQ:) shares pop premarket after the streaming giant posts better-than-anticipated fourth-quarter subscriber sign-ups. Elsewhere, Donald Trump notches a key win in the New Hampshire Republican primary, putting him well on the way to securing the GOP’s nod for president.
1. Futures inch higher
U.S. stock futures ticked into the green on Wednesday after the benchmark closed at a record high for the third consecutive session.
By 05:00 ET (10:00 GMT), the contract had added 22 points or 0.4%, had gained 130 points or 0.8%, and rose by 59 points or 0.2%.
Despite a 0.3% climb in the S&P 500 on Tuesday, the main averages were mixed. The tech-heavy jumped by 0.4%, while the 30-stock slipped by 0.3%.
Investors are keeping an eye on both an accelerating series of corporate earnings and a string of fresh U.S. economic data this week. Hopes remain that the world’s largest economy is approaching a “soft landing,” a scenario in which elevated interest rates cools inflation without fueling a slump in broader growth.
Along with a bevy of company results (see below), traders will also get a chance to parse through S&P Global’s U.S. composite purchasing managers’ index for January, which aims to measure activity in the key manufacturing and services sectors.
2. Tesla earnings ahead
Tesla is set to headline the list of big-name businesses unveiling their latest quarterly returns on Wednesday.
Elon Musk’s electric vehicle (EV) manufacturer, which is due to release its fourth-quarter numbers after the close of trading, is expected to forecast a 21% jump in deliveries this year. The guidance would be well below the long-term annual target of 50% put forward by Musk around three years ago, underscoring the intensifying competition Tesla faces in the EV market.
Earlier this year, Warren Buffett-backed Chinese firm BYD (SZ:) dethroned Tesla as the world’s top-selling EV maker for the first time ever, as it harnessed demand for cheaper non-combustion cars. Analysts noted at the time that BYD’s crowning came despite Tesla deeply slashing prices to entice cost-sensitive carbuyers, particularly in the all-important Chinese market.
With these pressures in focus, traders may want to hear more about Tesla’s plans for its next-generation vehicles. According to Reuters, Tesla has already told suppliers that it is aiming to start mass production of a new mass market EV in mid-2025.
Elsewhere on the earnings calendar, telecoms group AT&T (NYSE:) and medical device maker Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:) are due to report before the bell, while tech company IBM (NYSE:) will post results after U.S. markets close.
3. Netflix subscriber sign-ups beat estimates
Netflix shares surged in premarket U.S. trading on Wednesday after a slate of popular programming helped the streaming giant add far more paying subscribers in the fourth quarter than Wall Street had expected.
The company signed up a robust 13.12 million users during the three months ended on Dec. 31, a 71% surge compared to the year-ago period and markedly above analyst estimates of about 8.9 million, as viewers tuned in for the series finale of “The Crown” and “Squid Game: The Challenge”, the reality TV spin-off of its record-breaking TV show.
Revenue grew by around 12% year-on-year to $8.83 billion, also beating projections. In a letter to shareholders, Netflix backed the health of its business, forecasting “healthy double-digit” annual top-line growth.
Executives outlined plans to roll out more price increases this year and turn Netflix’s nascent ads unit into a “sustained, healthy” revenue stream in “2025 and beyond.” In a call with analysts, Co-Chief Executive Gregory Peters said the firm anticipates ongoing benefits from a recent crackdown on password sharing as well.
4. Trump emerges victorious in New Hampshire
Donald Trump’s campaign to secure the Republican presidential nomination received a massive boost on Tuesday, after he emerged victorious in a key primary vote in the state of New Hampshire.
With 91% of the votes tallied, Trump held a comfortable 54.6% over nearest challenger Nikki Haley’s mark of 43.1%, according to the Associated Press. The AP has called the race for Trump.
Although Haley vowed to press on with her bid for the GOP nod, Trump’s win gives the former president an iron grip over the race. He previously netted a record-setting victory in Iowa earlier this month, making him the first Republican to sweep both of the first two major nominating contests since 1976.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden said that the result in New Hampshire all but guarantees a rematch with Trump, his rival in the 2020 presidential election. In a statement, Biden claimed that “the stakes could not be higher.”
5. Crude steadies
Oil prices steadied Wednesday, as traders digested mixed signals on global supply and demand while escalating geopolitical tensions provided support.
By 05:00 ET, the futures traded 0.5% higher at $74.72 a barrel, while the contract climbed 0.4% to $79.83 per barrel.
Data from the American Petroleum Institute, released late Tuesday, showed that U.S. crude inventories shrank by 6.7 million barrels in the week to Jan. 19, as severe cold weather across large parts of the country disrupted production.
But the API data also showed a sustained increase in gasoline inventories and a small draw in distillate stockpiles, indicating that demand in the world’s largest fuel consumer remained weak as cold weather disrupted travel in the country. The official inventory data, from the Energy Information Administration, is due later in the session.
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