Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
- Stock futures rebound after the Dow's worst session in weeks
- Data on jobless claims, durable goods orders out before the bell
- Biden, world leaders open trio of summits on Russia's Ukraine invasion
- Next stop on Biden's trip is Poland to address Ukrainian refugee crisis
- BlackRock CEO says Russia's war has ended decades of globalization
U.S. stock futures rose Thursday as NATO leaders were trying to find ways to pressure Russia further for invading Ukraine. The Dow Jones Industrial Average on Wednesday dropped nearly 450 points, or 1.3%, its worst day since March 7. The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq all fell Wednesday for the second session in the past three, following the best weekly gains last week since November 2020. A roughly 5% jump in U.S. oil prices and the 10-year Treasury yield hitting nearly three-year highs of almost 2.42% pressured stocks Wednesday. The 10-year yield on Thursday was around 2.4%, while American crude was steady.
The government released two key U.S. economic reports before the opening bell Thursday: jobless claims and durable goods. Filings for first-time unemployment benefits for the week ended March 19 dropped 28,000 to 187,000, fewer than expected and the lowest level since early September 1969. February durable goods orders fell 2.2%, more than double the estimated decline.
The generally strong job market and soaring inflation are being watched carefully by the Federal Reserve, which at last week's meeting increased interest rates for the first time in more than three years. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell on Monday left the door open for more aggressive rate hikes as the year unfolds.
President Joe Biden and world leaders in Brussels on Thursday opened three emergency meetings to address Russia's Ukraine war: a NATO summit, a G-7 summit and a European Union summit. Biden will attend all three.
- The U.S. plans to sanction over 300 Russian elites and block Russian central bank gold, a senior Biden administration official said Thursday.
- British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Thursday that Russian President Vladimir Putin crossed a red line into barbarism, shortly after the U.K. announced more sanctions.
- In a video address, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged Western nations to take "serious steps" to help his country fight Russia. Zelenskyy also said, without evidence, that Russia used phosphorus bombs in an attack.
Poland and other eastern flank NATO countries are seeking clarity on how the U.S. and fellow European nations can assist in dealing with their growing concerns about Russian aggression as well as a spiraling Ukrainian refugee crisis. Biden is scheduled to visit Poland on Friday.
- Shortly before he returns to Washington on Saturday, according to the White House, the president is expected to deliver remarks on the "united efforts of the free world to support the people of Ukraine, hold Russia accountable for its brutal war, and defend a future that is rooted in democratic principles."
BlackRock CEO Larry Fink said Thursday the Russia-Ukraine conflict could end up accelerating digital currencies as a tool to settle international transactions. In a letter to shareholders of the world's largest asset manager, Fink said the war has put an end to the forces of globalization at work over the past 30 years. He also said, "Energy security has joined the energy transition as a top global priority." Oil prices have soared as sanctions on Moscow prompted companies and countries to reassess supply chains and to try to reduce dependence on Russian commodities.