Netflix Surges Before Earnings Report and Pushes Entrepreneur Index Higher™

Meanwhile, the real estate investment trust sector gets pummeled by rising interest rates.

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By Andrew Osterland • Apr 4, 2019 Originally published Apr 4, 2019

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Netflix got several thumbs up from analysts prior to reporting financial results after the market close today, pushing the stock up 3.04 percent.

Deutsche Bank analyst Bryan Kraft raised his rating on the stock to buy and dismissed the threat of new competitors in the video streaming sector, suggesting that Netflix was becoming "a cultural necessity for people around the world." Sentiment in the Wall Street analyst community is divided on Netflix. There are currently eleven sell ratings, nine buys and eight neutral ratings, according to data from TradingView. The stock was down in early after-hours trading.

The broader market was up modestly. The Dow and S&P 500 indexes gained 0.26 percent and 0.05 percent respectively, while the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3 percent. The Entrepreneur Index™ was up 0.14 percent on the day.

BlackRock has recovered along with the stock market this year. The world's largest asset manager handily beat earnings estimates with financial results reported this morning and saw its stock jump 3.25 percent -- the biggest gain on the Entrepreneur Index™ today.

The company's investment funds saw $64.7 billion in new inflows in the quarter -- up 13.6 percent from the same quarter last year. The stock fell sharply along with the market in the fourth quarter but is up 18.8 percent this year.

The technology sector was generally positive today. Chipmaker NVIDIA Corp. bounced back from a sharp drop yesterday with a 1.9 percent gain today. Facebook, down 0.43 percent, was the only FAANG stock on the Entrepreneur Index™ to fall. Cognizant Technology, down 3.26 percent, had the biggest decline in the sector.

Other good gains on the index included Tesla (2.62 percent), Bed Bath & Beyond (2.43 percent) and Wynn Resorts (2.04 percent).

Hospital manager Universal Health Services had the biggest decline on the Entrepreneur Index™ today, dropping 4.83 percent. The stock is falling in tandem with managed care and health insurance stocks, after UnitedHealth Group CEO David Wichmann issued warnings about disruption to the industry if universal healthcare coverage is adopted. Universal's stock is up 8.38 percent this year.

Medical device maker Boston Scientific Corp. was also down sharply after the Food and Drug Administration ordered the removal of vaginal mesh products from the U.S. market. Shares in the company, one of the biggest producers of surgical mesh, were down 4.34 percent. Boston Scientific is defending itself from hundreds of product liability lawsuits related to mesh.

The REIT sector was clobbered today as interest rates rose sharply. All nine REITs on the Entrepreneur Index™ fell by more than 1.5 percent. Shopping center manager Macerich Company had the biggest decline, falling 4.56 percent and setting a new 52-week low today. Mall manager Simon Property Group (-4.02 percent) and apartment building REIT Essex Property Trust (-3.53 percent) also had big losses.

The Entrepreneur Index™ collects the top 60 publicly traded companies founded and run by entrepreneurs. The entrepreneurial spirit is a valuable asset for any business, and this index recognizes its importance, no matter how much a company has grown. These inspirational businesses can be tracked in real time on Entrepreneur.com.

Andrew Osterland

Andrew Osterland is a contributing writer for CNBC.com. He specializes in capital markets, personal finance and taxes.

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