Stock market today: Dow stumbles on Fed fears; Netflix subscribers top estimates

  • Stock Market News
Stock market today: Dow stumbles on Fed fears; Netflix subscribers top estimates
Credit: © Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim -- The Dow fell Thursday, as sentiment on stocks was soured by disappointing quarterly results and expectations for the Federal Reserve to remain hawkish for longer as the tight labor market shows little sign of abating. 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.76%, or 252 points, and the Nasdaq Composite was down 0.96%, and the S&P 500 fell 0.76%.

Treasury yields continued their advance as fewer than expected initial jobless claims for the third-straight week pointed to a tight labor market that threatens to underpin wage growth and inflation.

About 190,000 people filed for unemployment benefits for the week ended Jan.14, well below economists' forecast of 214,000. It was the lowest since April.

“Data releases like this are why policymakers continue to reiterate their intention to raise rates,” Jefferies said.

Federal Reserve Governor Lael Brainard on Thursday insisted the Fed was “determined to stay the course" on monetary policy tightening, and would keep rates “sufficiently restrictive for some time" to ensure inflation returns to the central bank’s 2% target.

The remarks from the Fed vice chair on keeping rates higher for longer have added to concerns that the Fed could overtighten policy, tipping the economy into recession.

The earnings front, meanwhile, did little to allay those fears about the economy and the consumer.

Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE: NCLH ) fell more than 4%, leading consumer stocks lower, after the cruise company warned that it expected to report a net loss for the quarter and full year.

Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA ) also added to downside momentum, falling 1%, as many worry the EV maker’s quarterly results could fall short of expectations amid slowing demand and disruption to productions in China.

Banking and insurance stocks, meanwhile, continued to pressure financials, paced by a slump in Northern Trust Corporation (NASDAQ: NTRS ), Allstate Corp (NYSE: ALL ), and Charles Schwab Corp (NYSE: SCHW ).

Northern Trust Corporation reported fourth-quarter earnings that missed Wall Street estimates, sending its share price more than 8% lower. While Charles Schwab fell 6% after Bank of America downgraded the stock to Underperform from Buy on worries the tailwinds including the boost from higher short-term interest are waning. 

In Tech, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX ) as the streaming giant reported quarterly results after the closing bell. Netflix reported Q4 results that fell short of estimates on the bottom line, but subscriber additions topped expectations.  

Netflix added 7.66 million subscribers, well above the 4.6M expected, and said it was "very optimistic” about its new advertising tier streaming model, though cautioned that it will gradually boost subscription growth.  

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