* IBM shares fall after results, Netflix rallies
* Investors look ahead to ECB meeting
* Crude oil rises but still sharply down for week
* Futures down: Dow 79 pts, S&P 5.5 pts, Nasdaq 10.5 pts (Updates prices)
By Ryan Vlastelica
NEW YORK, Jan 21 (Reuters) – Dow Futures pointed to a lower open on Wednesday after a disappointing outlook from IBM and as investors reduced their exposure ahead of an upcoming European Central Bank (ECB) meeting that could result in new stimulus.
The ECB is expected to announce a bond-buying program on Thursday to boost the region’s flagging economy. Market participants have been looking for more aggressive measures to combat the risk of deflation that has grown alongside a drop in oil prices. If the ECB does not announce a new program, or unveils a smaller one than investors are looking for, that could exacerbate market volatility.
Crude oil rose 1.7 percent after dropping nearly 5 percent on Tuesday, though it remained near multi-year lows. ExxonMobil Corp was up 0.7 percent to $ 91.70 before the bell.
International Business Machines Corp reported lower-than-expected revenues late Tuesday and gave a 2015 profit target below estimates. Shares of the Dow component fell 3.1 percent to $ 152.06 in premarket trading.
Another member of the Dow, UnitedHealth Group Inc, rose 1.7 percent to $ 107.44 in premarket trading after fourth-quarter earnings beat expectations.
Netflix Inc jumped 19 percent to $ 414.38 and was one of the most active on Nasdaq premarket, a day after the streaming and rental video company said it was growing faster overseas than previously expected, offsetting slower U.S. growth. Adjusted profit was much stronger than expected.
With 8 percent of S&P 500 companies reporting, 75 percent have topped earnings expectations, according to Thomson Reuters data. About 52 percent beat on revenue.
Traders also digested President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address late Tuesday, in which he struck a defiant tone with the new Republican-controlled Congress, calling for higher taxes on the rich.
Qualcomm Inc fell 2.5 percent to $ 70.70 in premarket trading after Bloomberg reported that Samsung Electronics Co Ltd would not use Qualcomm’s processors for the next version of its flagship Galaxy S smartphone.
Futures snapshot at 9:01:
* S&P 500 e-minis were down 5.5 points, or 0.27 percent, with 154,184 contracts changing hands.
* Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 10.5 points, or 0.25 percent, in volume of 32,969 contracts.
* Dow e-minis were down 79 points, or 0.45 percent, with 25,850 contracts changing hands.
(Editing by Chizu Nomiyama, Jeffrey Benkoe and Nick Zieminski)
- Investment & Company Information