Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Oil rebounds as Russia-Ukraine talks fail, taking stock futures down
- Pressure on stocks comes after S&P 500's best day in roughly 21 months
- Bond yield rise after more hot inflation data
- Russia bombs a maternity hospital in Ukraine, killing 3 people
- Amazon's 20-for-1 stock split fuels Dow-30 inclusion speculation
U.S. stock futures fell sharply Thursday. U.S. oil prices rebounded 5% in morning trading as the latest round of Russia-Ukraine talks failed with no progress on a cease-fire and no progress on safe passages for evacuating civilians. With oil and in turn gasoline prices higher, investors are digesting another hot inflation report. Amazon was a standout in a down premarket, jumping 5% following its after-the-bell announcement of a 20-for-1 stock split and a $10 billion buyback. Bitcoin dropped below $40,000 on Thursday as some of the initial excitement around President Joe Biden's executive order on digital assets faded.
Wall Street, set to open lower Thursday, broke a four-session losing streak Wednesday, with the S&P 500 jumping 2.5% for its best day since June 2020 but it remained in a correction. The Nasdaq surged nearly 3.6%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average popped 2%. Those gains pulled the Dow out of a correction and the Nasdaq out of a bear market. Oil prices took a sharp leg lower Wednesday afternoon, giving stocks an extra boost. West Texas Intermediate crude, the American benchmark, tumbled more than 12%.
The 10-year Treasury yield on Thursday rose to around 1.98% after February's consumer price index rose 7.9% over the past 12 months, a fresh 40-year high and slightly higher than estimates. Excluding food and energy, both of which moved sharply higher during the month, core inflation still rose 6.4%, in line with expectations but the highest since August 1982.
- The latest reads on wholesale inflation and retail sales are out Tuesday and Wednesday — the two days when the Federal Reserve holds its March policy meeting. Central bankers are widely expected to start hiking Covid-era near-zero interest rates next week, the first in a series of rate increases seen this year to fight inflation.
Thursday's failure of cease-fire talks came one day after Russian forces bombed a maternity hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, killing three people, including one child. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday said without evidence that the hospital had already been captured by Ukrainian "ultra radicals." Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russian officials "live in their own reality."
- U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with Polish leaders in Warsaw on Thursday as disagreements simmer over how to arm Ukraine with warplanes to fight Russia's invasion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been pleading for NATO to impose a no-fly zone or provide it with fighter jets.
Mega-cap tech stocks Amazon and Google parent Alphabet are shedding their mega stock prices with huge splits, fueling speculation about whether they could one day become part of the 30 components that make up the Dow. First came Alphabet in February with its 20-for-1 stock split. Then, late Wednesday, it was Amazon's 20-for-1 stock split. Apple was added to the Dow in March 2015, nine months after completing a 7-for-1 split. Apple completed another 4-for-1 split in 2020.
— 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.