Stock market today: Stocks look to rebound with Netflix earnings on deck

US stocks stepped higher at the open Thursday as investors braced for Netflix (NFLX) to kick earnings season into high gear.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) gained 0.2% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) rose about 0.3% after closing with their latest declines. The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) also added roughly 0.1% after tech stocks ended over 1% lower in the prior session.

Stocks have struggled amid concerns inflation is no longer cooling and the Federal Reserve could ease back on interest rate cuts. That has put corporate earnings center stage as investors watch closely how well reports match up with high expectations.

Signs of strong AI demand in TSMC’s results revived optimism for chip and tech stocks (XLK), which drove the pullback on Wednesday. The Taiwanese chip giant, seen as a bellwether for the industry, flagged “insatiable” appetite for AI as it posted a quarterly profit beat.

The earnings spotlight now shifts to Netflix, as the focus shifts to tech stocks, including the “Magnificent” group of companies. The streaming leader’s financial update later Thursday is seen by some as the first real test for stocks this earnings season, given megacap techs are still playing a big part in pushing markets higher.

Meanwhile, the market is still keeping one eye on debate over whether the Federal Reserve could hold off from cutting interest rates this year, given the chances of a “no landing” for the economy. Appearances by policymakers including John Williams and Raphael Bostic are on the docket for Thursday.

Initial jobless claims for the week ending April 13 came in at 212,000, according to Department of Labor data released on Thursday. The reading came in below a consensus estimate of 215,000 compiled by Bloomberg.

US bond yields slipped from recent five-month highs, easing pressure on stocks. The 10-year Treasury yield (^TNX) was trading near 4.56%.

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    S&P 500 tries to snap four-day losing streak

    Stocks rose on Thursday morning, led by gains on all three major averages.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) rose 0.3% while the S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose roughly 0.2%. The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) added 0.1% after tech stocks ended over 1% lower on Wednesday.

    In each of the prior sessions this week the S&P 500 has opened higher but was not been able to sustain those gains throughout the day. The broader benchmark has closed lower for the past four sessions.

    All eyes will be on Netflix (NFLX) this afternoon when the streaming giant reports its quarterly results after the closing bell.

    Netflix shares are up more than 25% year-to-date.

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    One of the fun things in a business news newsroom: the banter on a battleground stock when it gets put through the wringer.

    That battleground stock today is none other than Tesla (TSLA), which has had an awful 2024 for numerous reasons. The stock is down 11% in the past five trading sessions despite the company’s new round of cost-cutting. Shares are nearing a 40% year-to-date decline.

    The banter today from the Yahoo Finance newsroom pre-market has been how slow most on the Street have been in reversing course on the stock. Some analysts have moved their ratings, but the holdouts are holding out.

    Director of Yahoo Finance Live Valentina Caval and reporter Madison Mills crunched the numbers on this one, and here’s where things stand.

    While over 60% of analysts had a buy rating on Tesla just last year, only 32% of analysts now have a buy rating on the stock. About 44% have a hold rating, while 23% sport a sell.

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    And the US debt warnings continue — Bank of America’s CEO weighs in

    The IMF has been making waves this week at its spring meetings in DC with its warnings on the high levels of US debt ($34 trillion and counting).

    Amid those warnings, we have seen rates on the 2-year and 10-year Treasuries move higher and air come out of momentum stocks such as Nvidia (NVDA).

    Bank of America chair and CEO Brian Moynihan is entering the conversation on US debt via a new interview with yours truly.

    “So you really have to let the debt run at the right levels. And it’s fine now, but it’s something we have to be concerned about,” Moynihan told me on Yahoo Finance Live. “It’s not something you raise the alarm on and say we have got to stop everything tomorrow. It’s something you have to manage over the next decade, because a little bit done every year adds up to a lot at the end of the decade.”

    You can watch our chat on other issues such as the state of US consumers down below. And more analysis on the company’s earnings results this week here.

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