Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Dow futures rise 600 points, a day after more wild swings
- Evacuations continue in Ukraine as Russia's march on Kyiv slows
- Four big U.S. brands, including McDonald's, halt operations in Russia
- Congress reaches a deal on $13.6 billion in aid to Ukraine, Europe
- Bitcoin jumps as Biden announces executive order on cryptocurrencies
Dow futures rose 600 points, or roughly 1.7%, on Wednesday. Gains in S&P and Nasdaq futures were even stronger as U.S. oil prices in early trading were breaking a 15%, three-session run to the upside. West Texas Intermediate crude fell roughly 5% on Wednesday, one day after gaining 3% on the U.S. banning Russian oil imports. The 10-year Treasury yield on Wednesday rose to over 1.9%.
On Tuesday, Wall Street saw wild swings, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average going from an early session decline to a 585-point gain before closing 184 points lower. The S&P 500 followed a similar path, as both benchmarks slid further into corrections. The Nasdaq, which dropped, rose and closed lower Tuesday, fell further into a bear market.
Mass evacuations from war-torn Ukrainian cities continued Wednesday. Days of Russian shelling have largely cut residents of the southern city of Mariupol off from the outside world and forced them to scavenge for food and water. U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Poland on Wednesday to thank Warsaw for taking in hundreds of thousands of Ukrainian refugees.
Two weeks into its offensive, Russia has achieved less and struggled more than anticipated. In a U.K. intelligence update Wednesday, British officials said fighting was ongoing northwest of the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv, but Russian troops were not making any major progress in reaching the city.
PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, McDonald's and Starbucks each said Tuesday they are suspending business in Russia after that country's invasion of Ukraine, a symbolic move by four iconic U.S. brands.
- PepsiCo has sold it products in Russia for more than six decades.
- Coca-Cola came to Russia in 1992.
- McDonald's opened its first location in Moscow in 1990, just months before the fall of the Soviet Union.
- Starbucks entered the Russian market in 2007.
In recent days, before their announcements, all four had faced heavy criticism for continuing to operate in Russia, while other U.S. companies announced suspensions and paused sales.
Congressional leaders reached a bipartisan deal early Wednesday on providing $13.6 billion to help Ukraine and European allies, in addition to billions more to battle the Covid pandemic as part of an overdue $1.5 trillion measure financing federal agencies for the rest of this year. President Joe Biden requested $10 billion for military, humanitarian and economic aid to Ukraine last week. Democratic and Republican support was so strong that the figure grew. Lawmakers face a Friday deadline to approve the governmentwide spending measure or face a federal agency shutdown.
Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies were higher Wednesday after Biden announced his highly anticipated executive order on digital assets. The order attempts to address the lack of a framework for the development of cryptocurrencies in the U.S., which critics believe could leave the country's industry behind the rest of the world. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in a statement Wednesday that the executive order "calls for a coordinated and comprehensive approach to digital asset policy." It appears to be broadly welcomed by the cryptocurrency industry and investors.