Wall Street stocks marginally softer at the close as earnings season chugs along

The weak tone in the markets comes a day after US benchmarks posted their best rally since March

Wall Street
Netflix shares were trading 7% higher after the popular streaming service zipped past the Street's third-quarter earnings and revenue forecasts

US stocks finished fractionally weaker on Wednesday, as most players were content to stay near the sidelines as the indices moved in a spirit of guarded consolidation while earnings season grinded away.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average index pared its losses from the morning session, declining 90 points or by 0.35% to close at 25,708.

The Dow has swung sharply the past few sessions, losing 1,300 points last week and then rallying 545 points on Tuesday, October 16. 

The S&P 500 slipped less than a point, dipping 0.03% to end at 2,809.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq eased 0.04% to settle at 7,642.

The Russell 2000 index of small cap stocks shed 0.5% to conclude at 1,588.

In Canada, Toronto’s TSX lost 0.41% to trade at 15,515 as the country marked the first day of legal cannabis in the country. 

9:59 AM: US stocks slip at open as trading remains choppy and earnings season soldiers on

US stocks fell at the open on Wednesday as investors were not cheered by IBM’s quarterly results and trading remained choppy as earnings season continued.

Early in the session, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index shed 135 points to 25,662, held back by its worst performer IBM (NYSE:IBM), which dropped more than 6% after the tech behemoth’s third-quarter revenue results failed to meet Wall Street’s expectations.

Today’s dip came a day after US stocks posted their most robust rally since last March.

The S&P 500 clung closer to the baseline, but was still down nearly 7 points at 2,802 while the tech-laden Nasdaq shed 21 points to hit 7,624.

The markets might have been down, but Netflix shares(NASDAQ: NFLX)  jumped 7% after the popular streaming service zipped past the Street’s third-quarter earnings forecast and grew its base of subscribers.

Up in Canada, Toronto’s TSX lost 48 points to hover at 15,531, dragged by healthcare and energy stocks. The Russell 2000 index of small-cap stocks also drifted into negative territory, meanwhile, and dropped by 8 points to 1,588.

7:34 AM: US stocks poised to head lower as earnings-inspired rally looks set to fade

US stocks are poised to turn south Wednesday as the earnings-inspired rally yesterday looks to have faded. Up in Canada, recreational pot has started to go on sale.

Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 1,300 points in a sell-off sparked by worries over rising treasury yields and the US-China trade war but this week stocks have generally advanced again.

Yesterday, the Dow Jones  added over 547 points at 25,798, while the tech heavy Nasdaq advanced over 214 at 7,645.

The S&P 500 added over 59 points at 2,809. Markets were boosted by corporate earnings from the likes of Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH).

But in futures today, the tide has turned with Dow Jones futures off 103 points; the S&P 500 is 9.5 lower and the Nasdaq futures are down  31 points.

Today it is the turn of tech titan Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) to impress and if pre-market trade is anyting to go by it already has after posting earnings after the bell.

Shares added nearly 4% on Tuesday and are up 10.20% to $381.75 in pre-market. 

The streaming giant said it added nearly 7 million new subscribers in the three months to September, which was around 2 million more than expected, bringing the total to over 137 million - an eye-watering figure.

Revenue in the quarter increased 34% year-on-year to nearly $4 billion, while profits more than tripled to $403 million.

In Europe, FTSE 100 is marginally in positive territory as Brexit negotiations reach a pivotal, somewhat chaotic moment with a Brussels summit.

The German DAX is down around  57 points at 11,719 and the French CAC 40 is down nearly nine points at 5,164.

In Asia overnight, stocks rose on the back of the US rally. Japan's Nikkei advanced over 291 points, while the Shanghai Composite Index gained around 15 to close at 2,561.

Connor Campbell, at  Spreadex in London, said on the Wall Street open : "...the Dow Jones is preparing to give back a chunk of Tuesday’s earnings-inspired surge."

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