MARKET SNAPSHOT: Stocks Poised For Flat Open; Netflix Rallies After Results

By Barbara Kollmeyer, MarketWatch, Ryan VlastelicaFeaturesDow Jones Newswires

Netflix set to soar after better-than-expected results

U.S. stock-index futures were little changed on Tuesday, suggesting major indexes would open near record levels a day after a partial shutdown of the government was ended.

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While the shutdown had limited direct impact on stocks, the end removed an element of political uncertainty from the market, allowing investors to focus more fully on corporate earnings, which have so far been strong, albeit with the variable of the recently passed tax law.

What are the main benchmarks doing?

The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures was trading flat at 26,204, up 9 points, but had been up by as many as 100 points earlier in the premarket session. S&P 500 futures down 1 point at 2,834. Nasdaq-100 futures added 6.25 points, or 0.1%, at 6,936.50.

All three major stock market indexes closed at record levels on Monday (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dow-futures-retreat-as-government-shutdown-stretches-into-3rd-day-2018-01-22) amid signs that U.S. politicians were nearing an agreement on a temporary budget deal. The S&P 500 rose 0.8% to 2,832.97, the Nasdaq Composite Index rallied 1% to 7,408.03 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.6% to 26,214.60.

Read: Stock market headed for 'nasty surprise' if this signal proves correct (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/why-a-slowdown-in-cash-flow-growth-is-bad-news-for-stocks-2018-01-22)

What's driving markets?

After U.S. markets closed on Monday, Congress passed a three-week funding measure (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/shutdown-averted-for-now-as-congress-passes-temporary-budget-measure-2018-01-23) that brought a halt to the three-day shutdown, with the bill then signed by President Donald Trump. The agreement keeps the government running up to Feb. 8, though underlying disagreements between the Republicans and the Democrats on immigration and other topics remain.

With that crisis averted for now, there is little to stop stocks from pushing out yet another set of records. Investors who have been buying stocks on the view that the economy is on an upswing were likely cheered by Monday's upbeat global outlook from the International Monetary Fund (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/imf-sees-risk-of-a-financial-market-correction-2018-01-22).

There are no economic data due Tuesday.

Investors were likely to watch for comments from financial and business leaders who are gathering in Davos, Switzerland for the World Economic Forum, which kicked off Tuesday. With a shutdown averted, President Trump is expected to attend and is scheduled to speak on Friday.

Check out:MarketWatch's Economic Calendar (http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/economy-politics/calendars/economic)What are strategists saying?

"We're just starting to put together the puzzle of how the tax law will impact companies across the economy. Some are showing a significant benefit while others are announcing big write-offs," said Tom Plumb, chief investment officer of Plumb Funds.

"Ultimately I think the impact will be positive, and we're going to see earnings estimates revised higher, but you do have to be concerned about valuations at current levels. I think any company with recurring revenue streams will continue to reflect a positive trend, but it is hard to say that any part of the market looks inexpensive."

Read:Why ditching stocks in this bull market is a 'dangerous' move (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dont-ditch-the-bull-market-its-dangerous-to-be-out-of-stocks-top-uk-fund-manager-says-2018-01-16)

Which stocks are in focus?

Netflix Inc. (NFLX) was up 9% in premarket trading. Shares of the streaming video group soared nearly 10% late Monday, putting the company on track to hit a $100 billion market-capitalization valuation, after it beat forecasts for earnings and new (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/netflix-hits-100-billion-market-cap-after-fourth-quarter-results-2018-01-22) net subscribers (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/netflix-hits-100-billion-market-cap-after-fourth-quarter-results-2018-01-22).

Read: Netflix sees sharks approaching from both sides in Apple and Disney (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/netflix-sees-sharks-approaching-from-both-sides-in-apple-and-disney-2018-01-22)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/netflix-sees-sharks-approaching-from-both-sides-in-apple-and-disney-2018-01-22)And:Kevin Spacey scandal cost Netflix $39 million (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/sexual-harassment-scandals-cost-netflix-39-million-2018-01-22)

Travelers Cos. (TRV) rose 3% in premarket after the insurer's revenue and profit beat forecasts (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/travelers-reports-q4-profit-revenue-beats-in-spite-of-california-wildfires-2018-01-23).

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/travelers-reports-q4-profit-revenue-beats-in-spite-of-california-wildfires-2018-01-23)Procter & Gamble(PG) fell 1% in premarket after earnings and sales beat forecasts, but income was lower than the same period a year ago. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pg-earnings-and-sales-beat-expectations-2018-01-23)

(http://www.marketwatch.com/story/pg-earnings-and-sales-beat-expectations-2018-01-23)Verizon Communications(VZ) shares rose over 1% ahead of the open after a sales beat and tax-reform boost helped offset a miss on profit. (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/verizons-stock-gains-as-sales-beat-tax-reform-benefit-helped-offset-profit-miss-2018-01-23)

Johnson & Johnson(JNJ) reported an increase in sales for its fourth quarter (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/jj-earnings-lifted-by-pharma-sales-growth-2018-01-23), largely spurred by its pharmaceutical business, but reported a loss because of effects from the new tax law. Shares rose 0.5% in premarket trading.

First Solar Inc. (NFLX) rose 3.4% before the bell, following an 8% climb in Monday's after-hours session after the U.S. government approved tariffs on solar-panel imports (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/us-targets-china-with-steep-tariffs-on-solar-panels-washing-machines-2018-01-22). Shares of Whirlpool Corp.(WHR) jumped 4% as tariffs were also approved for imported washing machines for home use.

What are other assets doing?

The ICE U.S. Dollar Index (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/dollar-rebounds-slightly-as-3-day-government-shutdown-comes-to-a-halt-2018-01-23) was modestly higher, building on gains after the government shutdown ended. Monday's U.S. stock gains fueled a rise for European stocks , with the German DAX jumping to a record high (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/germanys-dax-jumps-to-record-high-as-us-shutdown-ends-2018-01-23), and Asian markets, which saw 1%-plus gains across several markets (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/asian-markets-heat-up-after-fresh-records-on-wall-street-2018-01-22). Gold prices rose modestly, while oil futures (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-edge-up-after-saudi-urges-producers-to-cooperate-into-2019-2018-01-22)were higher (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/oil-prices-extend-gains-on-hopes-for-another-fall-in-us-supply-2018-01-23).

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 23, 2018 09:54 ET (14:54 GMT)