ASML leads techs higher in Europe, while Nasdaq futures climb after Netflix earnings

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Upbeat results from Dutch semiconductor equipment maker ASML helped drive up European stocks on Wednesday. That is as Nasdaq-100 futures climbed after well-received earnings from streaming giant Netflix.

The Stoxx Europe 600 index SXXP, +0.69% rose 0.6% to 410.43, breaking with two straight sessions of losses. The German DAX DAX, +0.71% and the French CAC 40 PX1, +0.67% rose 0.5% each, but the FTSE 100 UKX, +0.28% gained just 0.1% as the pound GBPUSD, +0.45% rose 0.3% against the dollar.

Wall Street was also indicating a stronger session, on inauguration day for President-elect Joe Biden.

After a 1.5% gain for the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +1.53% on Tuesday, Nasdaq-100 futures NQ00, +0.77% were up 0.6%, with S&P 500 futures ES00, +0.37% up just 0.2%.

Shares of Netflix NFLX, +0.76% surged 11% late on Tuesday, after the streaming service added 8.5 million net new subscribers in the fourth quarter, bouncing back from a lackluster prior period. Netflix topped 200 million streaming subscribers for the first time at the end of 2020. 

In Europe, shares of heavily weighted ASML ASML, +4.17% ASML, +2.84% gained 2.7%, after reporting that net profit and sales for the fourth quarter busted past expectations, and that it sees double-digit sales for the coming year.

“While we expect the shares to react positively, we do believe the move is likely to be lower than what such a robust set of results might typically suggest — we attribute this to the high expectations bar and our math pointing to broadly unchanged consensus for CY21 [calendar year 2021] on the bottom line,” said a team of Citi analysts led by Amit B. Harchandani, who rates the company a buy.

Elsewhere in the technology sector, shares of business-software group SAP SAP, +0.85% rose 1%, and those for chip makers Infineon Technologies IFX, +1.88% and STMicroelectronics STM, +1.83% STM, +2.05% rose by 1.6% and 2.4%, respectively.

Shares of BASF BASF, +1.83% rose over 2%, after the German chemical conglomerate forecast gains for earnings before interest and taxes and sales for the fourth quarter of 2020, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday.

The luxury-goods sector was performing strongly as well. Shares of Burberry BRBY, +5.18% jumped 4.5%, shrugging off a fall in comparable retail-store sales in the third quarter of fiscal 2021, which it said was in line with its own expectations but more than the market expected. The company said Europe, Middle East, India and Africa regions were hardest hit due to fewer tourists amid the pandemic.

And shares of Cie. Financière Richemont CFR, +1.60% rose 2.2%, after the Swiss luxury-goods conglomerate reporting a revenue rise in the third quarter. E-commerce and sales in Asia helped mitigate a difficult European environment, turning sales positive after a sharp fall previously in the year.

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