What's happening: Shares of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) soared as much as 11.4% higher on Tuesday morning. The move erased the effects of a traumatic Monday session, and the stock now trades roughly in line with last Friday's closing price.
Why it's happening: On Monday, Netflix behaved like the volatile highflier it is, swinging just a bit farther than the overall market. The company had no bad news of its own to share, but plunged as much as 16% anyway as investors "fled to safety" on fears of a Chinese market meltdown.
The digital video veteran doesn't exactly depend on the Chinese market yet, so this was more of a general market panic punishing high-priced stocks more than others. Netflix itself hasn't opened up services in the Middle Kingdom yet, and when that day comes, the company might need to start slowly with a local partnership.
Moreover, lost in Monday's flood of market-crushing speculation, Netflix announced a marketing partnership with Japanese mobile network SoftBank (NASDAQOTH:SFTBF). On Sept. 2, when Netflix starts its first Asian service in Japan, consumers will be able to sign up for the service at SoftBank's retail locations, pay for it as part of their monthly mobile bill, and see Netflix apps pre-installed on the network operator's smartphones.
Today, the broader market is rising, and Netflix hitched a faster ride on that bandwagon.
This partnership should accelerate Netflix's entry into the Japanese market, where Hulu already tried and failed to make a dent in the face of strong local alternatives. Most of Japan's 7 million paid online video customers are using services tied to one of the nation's three largest mobile networks. That includes SoftBank's own Uula brand, which will remain in play even as SoftBank promises to put its marketing muscle into this Netflix partnership.
At current prices, Netflix shares have gained 118% year to date but fallen back 18% from all-time highs set in early August.