Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Wall Street looks flat after the Dow's worst day of the year
- Investors concerned about Russia-Ukraine crisis pile into bonds
- Russia announces nuclear drills as U.S. warns of Ukraine invasion
- Chamath Palihapitiya, who took Virgin Galactic public, steps down board
- Movers: Roku, Shake Shack slammed after issuing weaker outlooks
U.S. stock futures were little changed Friday, one day after the Dow Jones Industrial Average posted its worst session of the year, slumping 622 points or 1.8%. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq on Thursday sank 2.1% and 2.9%, respectively. The stock sell-off on concerns about the Russia-Ukraine situation put the S&P 500 close to correction territory, not quite down 10% or more from January's record highs. The Nasdaq sank further into a correction, down roughly 15% from November's highs. The Dow was down around 7% from January's highs. All three stock benchmarks were lower for the week heading into Friday's open.
Heightened tensions between Russia and Ukraine left investors confused and dumping risky assets and rotating into the perceived safety of bonds Thursday and Friday. The 10-year Treasury yield, which moves inversely to price, continued to move lower to around 1.94%. While watching geopolitical developments, traders remain concerned about surging inflation and how the Federal Reserve plans to fight it. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard cautioned that without interest rates hikes, inflation could become an even more serious problem. Bullard has called for a full percentage point in rate increases by July.
Moscow announced massive drills by its nuclear forces Friday amid soaring East-West tensions, as the U.S. issued some of its starkest, most detailed warnings yet about how a Russian invasion of Ukraine might unfold. President Joe Biden sounded unusually dire a day earlier, as he warned that Washington saw no signs of a promised Russian withdrawal, but instead observed more troops massing. The U.S. has warned that Russia could use false claims, including assertions about the conflict in eastern Ukraine, as a pretext for an invasion. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian government and Russian state-controlled media were exchanging fresh accusations of cease-fire violations.
Virgin Galactic said Friday that venture investor Chamath Palihapitiya would step down from his roles as chairman and board member of the spaceflight company to focus on other corporate commitments. Last year, Palihapitiya confirmed he freed up some capital by selling Virgin Galactic shares. Virgin Galactic was up slightly in the premarket but closed down 10% in the prior session. The stock, which Palihapitiya helped take public more than two years ago in a SPAC deal, has cratered roughly 80% in the past 12 months. Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic fell to near $7 per share in the months after its debut and climbed as high as $62.80 in February 2021.
Roku shares sank more than 25% in Friday's premarket, the morning after the video streaming device maker saw quarterly revenue fall short of forecasts. It also issued a weaker-than-expected outlook, citing higher component prices and supply chain disruptions. The stock was already down 68% in the past 12 months. Roku got an early pandemic boost when people were stuck at home. But as Covid curbs eased so has streaming demand.
Shake Shack shares dropped roughly 15% in the premarket after the burger chain forecast current quarter revenue below estimates as the fast-spreading Covid omicron variant kept diners away and led to temporary restaurant closures. Shake Shack did report after the bell Thursday that sales for the just-ended quarter matched estimates and a per-share loss was narrower than expected.
— The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. Sign up now for the CNBC Investing Club to follow Jim Cramer's every stock move. Follow the broader market action like a pro on CNBC Pro.