Morning Brief

What to watch today: Futures relatively steady after comments from Russia's top diplomat


U.S. stock futures wiped out sharp earlier losses and turned briefly positive to start the new week after Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday appeared to suggest Moscow would continue talks with EU and NATO officials over Ukraine. Investors are monitoring the possibility of Russia invading Ukraine and the Federal Reserve raising interest rates more aggressively this year, starting next month. (CNBC)

* Goldman Sachs: Market pullback will be worse than Crimea if Russia invades (CNBC)

The 10-year Treasury yield topped 2% last week for the first time since 2019 after Thursday's biggest 12-month gain in consumer prices since 1982 and again Friday after U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said a Russian "invasion could begin at any time" in Ukraine. The 10-year yield turned positive Monday on the Lavrov comments, pushing back to 1.98%. (CNBC)


St. Louis Fed President James Bullard on CNBC on Monday reiterated he'd like to see rates rise by 100 basis points by July. "Our credibility is on the line here," Bullard added, referring to the need to deal with escalating inflation. He added the Fed should "front-load" tightening. Bullard's rate call roiled markets Thursday. (CNBC)

The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Friday tumbled 503 points, or 1.4%. The S&P 500 dropped 1.9% and the Nasdaq shed 2.8%. All three stock benchmarks were lower for the week. Traders are pricing in about a 55% chance of seven Fed rate hikes this year, according to the CME. The central bank releases minutes from its January meeting Wednesday. (CNBC)

In the week ahead, there's more key inflation data, with January's producer price index scheduled for Tuesday. That report is also expected to be very hot, after January's CPI. Surging inflation has caused consumer sentiment to slump, and now economists are watching consumer spending closely. That means January's retail sales will be important when that data is released Wednesday. (CNBC)

There's also a final rush of big earnings, with Cisco Systems and Nvidia on Wednesday; Walmart on Thursday; and Deere on Friday. With more than 70% of the S&P 500 companies already having reported financial results, according to FactSet, over three-quarters of them beat on earnings. However, 47% of S&P 500 names issued negative EPS guidance. (CNBC)

The busiest U.S.-Canada border crossing was open Monday after protesters demonstrating against Covid restrictions blocked the span for nearly a week. The Ambassador Bridge was reopened to traffic Sunday night after police in Windsor, Ontario, arrested 25 to 30 demonstrators and towed several vehicles. The crossing carries 25% of all trade between the two countries. (AP)

Eli Lilly's (LLY) new Covid-19 antibody drug received emergency use authorization from the FDA for use in adults and adolescents. The FDA had placed limitations on earlier Covid treatments after finding they were less effective against the omicron variant. (Reuters)

Russian teenager Kamila Valieva has been cleared to compete in the women's figure skating competition at the Beijing Winter Olympics despite failing a pre-Games drug test, setting her up for an attempt at a second gold medal. Whatever happens on the ice, Valieva will not get a medal ceremony moment. Nor will any skater who finishes in the top three with her. (AP)

* Major League Baseball’s spring training delayed as labor talks drag on (AP)

Los Angeles Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp, who was named the Super Bowl's MVP after Sunday night's game, had eight receptions for 92 yards and two touchdowns, including a 1-yard catch from quarterback Matthew Stafford with 1:25 remaining that gave the Rams a 23-20 win and their second Vince Lombardi Trophy. (AP)

* Halftime show: Eminem takes a knee, 50 Cent hangs upside down (AP)
* Watch all the commercials from the 2022 Super Bowl (CNBC)

"Ghostbusters" producer Ivan Reitman, the moviemaker behind a canon of film that took young baby boomers from fringe comedy clubs and cast them in blockbusters with a surreal view of grownup life, has died. He was 75. Reitman first found widespread success with his production of "National Lampoon's Animal House." (NBC News)


Cisco Systems (CSCO) made a more than $20 billion takeover bid for cloud software company Splunk (SPLK), according The Wall Street Journal. A deal of that size would represent the networking equipment maker's largest-ever acquisition. Splunk surged 7.9% in the premarket, while Cisco shares fell 1%.

Blackstone (BX) finalized a $6.3 billion deal to buy Australian casino operator Crown Resorts. Shareholders are expected to vote on the transaction during the second quarter, with the deal also requiring regulatory approval. Blackstone fell 2.6% in the premarket.

Lockheed Martin (LMT) has abandoned its $4.4 billion deal to buy rocket motor builder Aerojet Rocketdyne (AJRD). Federal regulators had sued to block the transaction in January. Aerojet Rocketdyne fell 2.2% in premarket trading, while Lockheed Martin edged up 0.5%.

Soros Fund Management bought nearly 20 million Rivian (RIVN) shares during the fourth quarter of 2021, according to the fund's quarterly filing. The stake was worth about $2 billion at the time of purchase, but its value has fallen to about $1.17 billion. Rivian was down 1.8% in premarket trading.

Just Eat Takeaway (GRUB) CEO Jitse Groen told a Dutch TV program the food delivery company's decision to delist from the Nasdaq should not be taken as a sign that the company intends to sell its Grubhub unit. Groen said the delisting is a cost reduction measure. Shares fell 1.3% in premarket action.

Eli Lilly's (LLY) new Covid-19 antibody drug received emergency use authorization from the FDA for use in adults and adolescents. The FDA had placed limitations on earlier Covid treatments after finding they were less effective against the omicron variant.