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US STOCKS-Wall St headed for lower open as focus turns to tech earnings

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Shivani Kumaresan
·2 min read
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(For a Reuters live blog on U.S., UK and European stock markets, click LIVE/ or type LIVE/ in a news window.)

* Nike falls as Citi moves to sidelines

* Tobacco cos fall on report over U.S. plan to limit nicotine

* Futures: Dow and Nasdaq drop 0.47%, S&P down 0.49% (Adds comment, details; updates prices)

By Shivani Kumaresan

April 20 (Reuters) - Futures pointed to a lower open for Wall Street's main indexes on Tuesday as investors banked on results from Netflix and other major technology-related companies this week to sustain the positive start to the earnings season.

Streaming service provider Netflix, which thrived during last year's lockdowns, will be the first among the so called FAANG group to report quarterly numbers. Its shares slipped about 0.3% in pre-market trading, ahead of its results after markets close.

International Business Machines Corp rose 2.7% as it recorded the biggest rise in quarterly sales in more than two years, boosted by its bets on the high-margin cloud computing business.

Chipmaker Intel Corp is slated to report results on Thursday.

"We are getting a little bit of weakness ... even though the earnings and economic data is good," said Ryan Detrick, senior market strategist at LPL Financial in Charlotte, North Carolina.

"The underlying fundamentals are extremely strong and it wouldn't be overly concerning after the rally we have seen in the past 13 months for the market to catch its breath a little bit more in the face of strong earnings."

After blockbuster earnings from major U.S. banks last week, analysts expect first-quarter profit for overall S&P 500 firms to jump 30.9% from a year earlier, according to Refinitiv IBES data.

A pullback in longer-dated bond yields from 14-month highs has eased worries over higher borrowing costs, reviving demand for richly valued technology stocks.

Also, a string of robust economic data and expectations of a strong rebound in corporate earnings helped the S&P 500 and the Dow to hit record highs last week.

At 08:32 a.m. ET, Dow E-minis were down 154 points, or 0.45%, S&P 500 E-minis were down 18 points, or 0.43% and Nasdaq 100 E-minis were down 48.75 points, or 0.35%.

Tobacco companies, including Altria Group and Philip Morris, fell as much as 4.2% after the Wall Street Journal reported that the Biden administration is considering a rule that would limit nicotine or ban menthol in cigarettes.

Abbott Laboratories fell 3%, despite posting a three-fold jump in quarterly profit.

Nike Inc dropped about 1.6% after Citigroup lowered its rating on the company's shares to "neutral" from "buy". (Reporting by Shivani Kumaresan and Medha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)