Investing.com - Here are the top five things you need to know in financial markets on Wednesday, October 17:
1. U.S. Futures Point to Modest Pullback
U.S. stock index futures indicated a slightly lower open, taking a breather from the strong performance on Tuesday, when each of the major indices rose more than 2%.
At 5:40AM ET, the blue-chip Dow futures were down 91 points, or about 0.35%, the S&P 500 futures dipped 7 points, or around 0.25%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures indicated a decline of 27 points, or roughly 0.4%.
U.S. stocks enjoyed their best day since March on Tuesday, as the release of strong quarterly results from some of the largest U.S. companies helped restore appetite for riskier assets.
On the earnings side, notable companies slated to report results today include Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) and US Bancorp (NYSE:USB), both due in the morning, while Alcoa (NYSE:AA), United Rentals (NYSE:URI) and Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) are due after the close.
Elsewhere, in Europe, the region's major bourses gave up earlier gains to trade slightly lower, as a crucial European Union summit on Brexit negotiations got underway.
Earlier, stocks in Asia closed higher. Gains of at or just above 1% were logged in Japan, Australia and South Korea.
Chinese markets lagged, however, with the mainland's benchmark Shanghai Composite rising only 0.6%.
2. Netflix Surges After Huge Beat on Subscriber Growth
Netflix hooked 7 million new streaming subscribers from July to September, a third more than Wall Street had expected, reassuring investors who had worried the company was facing a slowdown in its fast-paced growth.
The record number of additions in the third quarter brought Netflix's customer base to 137 million worldwide, confirming its rank as by far the world's biggest online subscription video service.
The streaming giant reported third quarter earnings after the market closed on Tuesday.
In pre-market trading, Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) shares, already up about 78% so far this year, surged 11.7% to $387.00, up from Tuesday's close of $346.40.
3. Fed FOMC Meeting Minutes
Investors are awaiting the publication of minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest policy meeting at 2:00PM ET (1800GMT), for further clues into the outlook for monetary policy in the months ahead.
The U.S. central bank raised interest rates by a quarter point as was widely expected following its meeting on Sept. 26 - its third rate hike of the year - and took a slightly more hawkish tone by dropping the word "accommodative" to describe its monetary policy stance.
Interest rate futures are pricing in around an 83% chance that the Fed will again raise rates in December, according to Investing.com's Fed Rate Monitor Tool.
Meanwhile, U.S. President Donald Trump continued his criticism of the Federal Reserve, calling it his "biggest threat" as it was "raising rates too fast."
Trump had previously said the Fed has "gone crazy" and attributed last week's plunge on Wall Street to the U.S. central bank.
4. U.S. Housing Data
On the data front, the Commerce Department at 8:30AM ET (1230GMT) is expected to report building permits rose 2.1% in September to 1.278 million units.
Housing starts, meanwhile, are expected to be negatively impacted by Hurricane Florence, with analysts expecting a drop of 4.5% to 1.22 million units.
A recent batch of upbeat data signaled that the U.S. economy remains on solid footing, despite rising interest rates and global trade war tensions.
The U.S. dollar index, which measures the greenback’s strength against a basket of six major currencies, was a shade higher at 94.90.
In the bond market, U.S. Treasury prices held steady, with the benchmark 10-year yield standing at around 3.165%.
5. EIA's Weekly Oil Supply Report
In commodity markets, the U.S. Energy Information Administration will release its official weekly oil supplies report for the week ended October 12 at 10:30AM ET (1430GMT).
After markets closed Tuesday, the American Petroleum Institute said that U.S. oil inventories fell by 2.1 million barrels last week.
The API data also showed supplies of gasoline declined by 3.4 million barrels, while distillates fell 246,000 barrels, sources said.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate WTI crude futures were down 17 cents at $71.75 a barrel.
International Brent crude oil futures were at $81.38 per barrel, 3 cents lower from their last close.