Dow Futures Fall 290 Pts; Amazon Stock Split, U.S. CPI in Focus.

010, Mar 2022

( U.S. stocks are seen opening lower Thursday after high-profile talks between Russia and Ukraine ended without progress, while investors digest volatile oil prices and await key inflation data.


At 7:15 AM ET (1215 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was down 290 points, or 0.9%; S&P 500 Futures traded 36 points, or 0.9%, lower; and Nasdaq 100 Futures dropped 160 points, or 1.2%.

The leading Wall Street indices all closed sharply higher Wednesday, with the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining over 650 points or 2%, the broad-based S&P 500 dropped 2.6%, its best day since June 2020, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 3.6%, the most significant one-day rise since November 2020.

These gains were based on a sharp fall in oil prices, amid indications that a couple of significant producers were prepared to increase output, as well as tentative hopes for peace in the Ukraine conflict.

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Russia's foreign minister Sergei Lavrov met his Ukrainian counterpart Dmytro Kuleba in Turkey earlier Thursday, the highest-profile meeting between diplomats from the two sides since Russia's invasion. Still, hopes for progress toward achieving a ceasefire appear to have been dashed.

Additionally, crude prices have rebounded Thursday sharply, after they suffered their most significant one-day drop in almost two years, further weighing on sentiment.

By 7:15 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 4.2% higher at $113.31 a barrel, bouncing from a fall of more than 12% on Wednesday, its worst day since late November. The Brent contract rose 4.8% to $116.50, after dropping 13%, the most significant one-day drop since April 2020.

Investors will also keep a close eye on U.S. inflation figures, due at 8:30 AM ET (1330 GMT), which could further guide expectations for the Federal Reserve's meeting next week. The annual CPI figure for February is expected to rise to 7.9%, up from 7.5% in January. 

Weekly initial jobless claims are also slated to come out simultaneously.

In corporate news, Amazon (NASDAQ: AMZN) will be in the spotlight after the online retail giant's board approved a 20-for-1 stock split and authorized the repurchase of up to $10 billion of its common stock.

Marriott International (NASDAQ: MAR) announced Thursday it has decided to pause the opening of upcoming hotels and all future hotel development and investment in Russia, joining its peers Hilton Worldwide (NYSE: HLT) and Hyatt Hotels (NYSE: H), who announced similar moves on Wednesday.

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General Electric (NYSE: GE) reiterated its 2022 earnings forecast despite inflationary and supply-chain challenges.

Also of note will be earnings from Rivian Automotive Inc (NASDAQ: RIVN) and Oracle (NYSE: ORCL), both due to report after the markets close.

Additionally, gold futures rose 1% to $2,007.60/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.4% lower at 1.1033.