Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Nasdaq set to drop, Netflix shares slide
- Netflix reports dramatic slowdown in subscribers
- Hitting latest vaccine milestone, Biden pushes shots for all
- J&J resumes its Covid vaccine rollout in Europe
- Sanders unveils free college bill, wants Wall Street to pay for it
1. Nasdaq set to drop, Netflix shares slide
Nasdaq futures were under some pressure Wednesday as Netflix shares dropped more than 9% in the premarket after the video streaming platform's data on new subscribers fell far short of Wall Street estimates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 were also set to open lower Wednesday, a day after nearly 1% declines. The Nasdaq also dropped nearly 1% on Tuesday. All three benchmarks were riding back-to-back losses. However, none of them is that far away from their most recent record closes. The 10-year Treasury yield ticked higher Wednesday but remained below 1.6% and the run of 14-month highs in March.
2. Netflix reports dramatic slowdown in subscribers
Netflix blamed its subscriber growth slowdown on pandemic-inspired delays in some of its big-name shows and films. In the first quarter, global paid net subscriber additions totaled 3.98 million compared with estimates for 6.2 million. Netflix said Tuesday it expects to add only about 1 million subscribers in the current quarter. The company doesn't believe increased competition from the likes of Disney+ and Hulu, AT&T's HBO Max, Apple TV+, Amazon Prime, and Comcast's Peacock are playing a factor in the weak subscriber numbers. Earnings per-share in the first quarter handily beat forecasts, while revenue slightly exceeded what analysts had expected.
3. Hitting latest vaccine milestone, Biden pushes shots for all
President Joe Biden on Wednesday will reflect on his efforts to expand Covid vaccine distribution and access in his first three months in the White House. The U.S., under the Biden administration, is set administer more than 200 million doses before the president's 100th day in office next week. That's was his latest goal. More than 50% of U.S. adults have gotten at least one dose, including a third who have been fully vaccinated. With everyone 16 and older now eligible, Biden is expected to outline his administration's plans to drive up vaccination rates even further.
4. J&J resumes its Covid vaccine rollout in Europe
Johnson & Johnson said it will resume rolling out its Covid vaccine in Europe after regulators on the continent said the benefits outweigh the risk of uncommon but severe blood clots. The European Medicines Agency on Tuesday recommended adding a warning about possible clotting issues with low blood platelets. J&J's vaccine was put on pause in the U.S. after six women developed a rare blood clotting disorder. One woman died and another was in critical condition. The CDC's immunization advisory panel is set to make its recommendation on J&J's one-shot vaccine Friday.
5. Sanders unveils free college bill, wants Wall Street to pay for it
Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., on Wednesday introduced the College for All Plan, legislation that would make a college education free for millions and lend extra support to those from working-class families attending minority institutions. The bill, as in previous plans, proposes the government help pay for it by imposing a financial transaction tax on Wall Street. No word on whether Biden supports this bill but he does broadly want to reduce the burden of college costs. As a candidate, he expressed support for the general idea of a financial transaction tax but offered no specifics.
Disclosure: Comcast is the owner of NBCUniversal, parent company of CNBC.