Stocks Weaker in Early U.S. Session

Stocks were mostly weaker in early trading on Thursday as a sharp loss for Netflix (NFLX) after its second-quarter results were released weighed on the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite.

The video-streaming company’s shares sank 10% after reporting a drop in paid net membership additions and lower-than-expected earnings and revenue. The Standard & Poor’s 500 communication services group dropped 1.1% to lead declines among the 11 sectors.

Real estate fell 0.8% and consumer discretionary was down 0.5% in morning trading. Financials firmed 0.5% and health care rose 0.4%, while consumer staples gained 0.3% amid gains for tobacco stocks after Philip Morris (PM) jumped 7% on the back of its better-than-expected earnings.

On the Dow Jones Industrial Average, blue-ship tech giant IBM (IBM) gained 3.8% after reporting second-quarter earnings that were ahead of analysts’ expectations, although revenue was just shy of views. UnitedHealth Group (UNH) dropped 1.8% even after its results came in ahead of projections.

Outside of earnings, stocks were absorbing more trade jitters, with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin telling CNBC that “complicated issues” remain in the dispute between the US and China. Oil prices retreated even after Iran reportedly claimed it seized a foreign oil tanker.

West Texas Intermediate was down 2.2% to $55.44 a barrel and Brent lost 1.9% to $62.43 a barrel, while the S&P’s energy sector was down 0.3%.

In economic news, weekly jobless claims rose to 216,000 from 208,000 previously, slightly ahead of expectations on Econoday for 215,000. The July Philly Fed’s manufacturing index surged to 21.8, well ahead of the 4.5 print expected.

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