By Barbara Kollmeyer
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 /zigman2/quotes/210599654/delayed XX:SXXP -0.67% rose 0.6% to 410.43, breaking with two straight sessions of losses. The German DAX /zigman2/quotes/210597999/delayed DX:DAX -1.73% and the French CAC 40 /zigman2/quotes/210597958/delayed FR:PX1 -0.90% rose 0.5% each, but the FTSE 100 /zigman2/quotes/210598409/delayed UK:UKX -0.15% gained just 0.1% as the pound /zigman2/quotes/210561263/realtime/sampled GBPUSD +0.0330% 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 /zigman2/quotes/210598365/realtime COMP -0.03% on Tuesday , Nasdaq-100 futures /zigman2/quotes/210219788/delayed NQ00 0.00% were up 0.6%, with S&P 500 futures /zigman2/quotes/209948968/delayed ES00 +0.01% up just 0.2%.
Shares of Netflix /zigman2/quotes/202353025/composite NFLX -0.69% 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 /zigman2/quotes/210293876/composite ASML -1.18% /zigman2/quotes/206208657/delayed NL:ASML -1.62% 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 /zigman2/quotes/202053813/delayed XE:SAP -1.17% rose 1%, and those for chip makers Infineon Technologies /zigman2/quotes/203152288/delayed XE:IFX -1.79% and STMicroelectronics /zigman2/quotes/207734906/composite STM -1.10% /zigman2/quotes/203551318/delayed IT:STM -2.07% rose by 1.6% and 2.4%, respectively.
Shares of BASF /zigman2/quotes/203188900/delayed IT:BASF -3.09% 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 /zigman2/quotes/205386705/delayed UK:BRBY +0.98% 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 /zigman2/quotes/203783259/delayed CH:CFR -1.15% 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.