By Devik Jain
(Reuters) - U.S. stock index futures were flat on Wednesday as investors weighed the impact of supply chain constraints and inflation on corporate earnings, while Netflix shares remained sluggish after its quarterly report.
Netflix's global sensation "Squid Game" helped lure more customers than expected, the world's largest streaming service said as it predicted a packed lineup would further boost signups through the end of the year.
Its shares, however, fell 2.7% after hitting a record high earlier this month and gaining 18.2% year-to-date.
Analysts expect S&P 500 earnings to rise 32.4% from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv data, while also keeping a close eye on growth outlook from companies that are faced with rising costs, labor shortages and supply chain disruptions.
"Investor response to the latest set of earnings reports has been a touch hit and miss with supply chain issues dogging both Procter and Gamble and Philip Morris," wrote Danni Hewson, financial analyst at AJ Bell in a client note.
Other mega cap technology and communication names were mixed in premarket trading. Facebook, up 0.6%, is planning to rebrand itself with new name that focuses on metaverse, according to the Verge.
Tesla Inc edged 0.4% lower in the run up to its quarterly results after markets close, with investors awaiting details on its performance in China.
Anthem Inc rose 0.6% as the second largest health U.S. insurer raised its profit outlook for 2021 after beating third-quarter profit estimates.
United Airlines Holdings gained 1.6% after the carrier reported a smaller quarterly loss than a year ago on travel rebound.
The benchmark S&P 500 index is just 0.4% below its early September record close, while the Dow Jones Industrials average is 0.5% below its all-time high reached in mid-August.
U.S. stock indexes closed higher on Tuesday with the biggest boosts from the technology and healthcare sectors amid optimism about solid third-quarter earnings season.
Verizon Communication, Abbott Laboratories, Tesla Inc, Kinder Morgan and IBM are set to report their earnings later in the day.
At 7:19 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 8 points, or 0.02%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 0.25 points, or 0.01%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 10 points, or 0.06%.
Ford Motor gained 1.9% after Credit Suisse upgraded the U.S. automaker's stock to 'outperform' on EV transition.
Oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp slipped 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively, tracking crude prices. [O/R/]
(Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Arun Koyyur)