Stock Futures Struggle as Wall Street Eyes Geopolitical Updates

Oil is seeing a surge thanks to the news

Digital Content Manager
Feb 22, 2022 at 9:10 AM
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Elevating tensions between Ukraine and Russia have turned stock futures lower this morning, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJI) eyeing a triple-digit drop, and the S&P 500 (SPX) and Nasdaq-100 Index (NDX) signaling quiet losses of their own. Investors have hit the ground running after markets reopened from Monday's President's Day closure, after Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that he would recognize the independence of two breakaway regions in eastern Ukraine in a move that could undermine peace talks with the U.S., prompting President Joe Biden to order sanctions on Ukraine's separatist regions. Several other countries have also announced sanctions or business deals with Russia this morning.

Meanwhile, oil prices are surging on the news, with West Texas Intermediate futures last seen up 3% at $93.80 per barrel. Wall Street is poring over another round of earnings, as the season starts wrapping up, digesting upbeat results from retailers Macy's (M) and Home Depot (HD). 

Continue reading for more on today's market, including:  

  • The pot stocks that made international moves last week. 
  • Is it safe to add this insurance stock to your portfolio right now?
  • Plus, M rises on earnings beat; Houghton Mifflin stock boosted on buyout news; and DKNG sinks deeper after bear note. 

futures feb 22

5 Things You Need to Know Today

  1. The Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE) saw 1.58 million call contracts traded on Friday, and 1.15 million put contracts. The single-session equity put/call ratio rose to 0.73, and the 21-day moving average rose to 0.56.
  2. The shares of Macy's Inc (NYSE:M) are up 6.2% this morning, following the company's fourth-quarter earnings and revenue beat, as well as the approval of a new $2 billion share buyback plan and a dividend hike. M has tacked on an impressive 79% in the last 12-months. 
  3. Private equity firm Veritas Capital will acquire Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Co (NASDAQ:HMHC) in a deal worth $21 per share or $2.8 billion in cash, sending shares of the latter up 15.1% before the bell. HMHC has climbed over 174% year-over-year, with support from its 60- and 100-day moving averages. 
  4. DraftKings Inc (NASDAQ:DKNG) got a downgrade from Wells Fargo to "equal weight" from "overweight", as well as a steep price-target cut to $19 from $41, citing profitability concerns. The equity is down 5.3% ahead of the bell, looking to add to Friday's 21.6% tumble. 
  5. The market will reopen with a bang on Tuesday, with the S&P Case-Shiller home price index, the FHFA home price index, and the consumer confidence index all due out. Investors will also want to look out for the Markit services and manufacturing purchasing managers' indexes (PMI), which will be released shortly after the open.  


Russia-Ukraine Tensions Continue to Weigh Overseas 

Markets in Asia were sharply lower today, falling victim to the ongoing tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Hong Kong's Hang Seng led the losses with a 2.7% drop, as Alibaba turned lower following a Bloomberg report that Chinese officials have told banks and state firms to conduct checks on their financial exposure through Ant Group. Japan's Nikkei fell 1.7% for the day, while China's Shanghai Composite and the South Korean Kospi lost 1% and 1.4%, respectively.

European markets are struggling for direction midday, as investors eye updates regarding the Russia-Ukraine border and unpack a slew of corporate earnings. The German DAX is down 0.2%, despite Germany's Ifo business climate index rising to 98.9 in February, while London's FTSE 100 tacks on 0.3%. Rounding out the region, the French CAC 40 sits flat with a 0.01% dip. 


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