* Netflix falls as subscriber growth slows
* Verizon shares fall after Q1 results
* Indexes up: Dow 0.43%, S&P 0.26%, Nasdaq 0.06% (Updates prices to open)
April 21 (Reuters) – The S&P 500 and the Dow Jones indexes were higher on Wednesday after sliding for two straight sessions, while the Nasdaq remained muted as Netflix kicked off quarterly earnings for technology behemoths with a disappointing report.
The streaming service provider tumbled 7.1% as it reported slower subscriber growth in the first quarter after a pandemic boom.
Shares of mega-cap firms, including Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Facebook Inc and Tesla Inc , fell between 0.3% and 1.8%.
“Netflix is weighing on the tech sector for sure this morning,” said Dennis Dick, head of markets structure and a proprietary trader at Bright Trading LLC in Las Vegas.
“We get into the heart of all the major tech stocks reporting next week and the first one didn’t do that great and now that lowers the bar for Apple and Microsoft etc.”
Nine of the 11 major S&P 500 sectors were lower, with communication services, which houses Netflix, tumbling over 1%.
The S&P 1500 airlines index was down 0.6%, pulled lower by Alaska Air Group Inc and United Airlines Holdings Inc as concerns over a resurgence in coronavirus cases globally offset optimism about recovery in travel demand later in the year.
Anthem Inc rose 0.3% after the health insurer raised its full-year profit target, as lower demand for non-COVID-19 healthcare services helped it rein in medical costs and beat quarterly profit estimates.
Shares of bigger rival UnitedHealth Group Inc gained 0.3%, helping support the Dow Jones index.
With the first-quarter earnings season picking up pace, analysts expect profit for S&P 500 companies to jump 31.9% from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv IBES data.
At 10:08 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 145.52 points, or 0.43%, at 33,966.82, the S&P 500 was up 10.64 points, or 0.26%, at 4,145.58 and the Nasdaq Composite was up 7.89 points, or 0.06%, at 13,794.15.
Verizon Communications Inc dropped 0.2% as it said it lost more wireless subscribers than expected during the first quarter. Shares of T-Mobile US Inc and AT&T Inc were also lower.
U.S. railroad operator CSX Corp fell 2.4% after it missed estimates for first-quarter profit, hurt by frigid polar vortex temperatures, ongoing pandemic disruptions and higher fuel costs.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.46-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 2.27-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 47 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 37 new highs and 39 new lows. (Reporting by Shreyashi Sanyal and Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva and Sriraj Kalluvila)