BY THE NUMBERS
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. (CNBC)
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. (CNBC)
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. (CNBC)
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. (CNBC)
IN THE NEWS TODAY
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. (AP)
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 aimed at pressuring Moscow. The U.K. has now sanctioned over 1,000 individuals and businesses since the invasion. (CNBC)
In a video address Thursday, 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. (CNBC live blog)
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. (AP)
BlackRock (BLK) CEO Larry Fink said Thursday the Russia-Ukraine conflict has put an end to the globalization forces at work over the past 30 years. In a letter to the shareholders, Fink also said, "Energy security has joined the energy transition as a top global priority." (CNBC)
* Fink says Russia-Ukraine war could accelerate use of cryptocurrencies (CNBC)
As mainland China battles its worst Covid outbreak since early 2020, local governments there are increasingly saying the new omicron subvariant is to blame. So-called BA.2 is more transmissible than original omicron but doesn't necessarily cause more severe illness. (CNBC)
* Why don't kids get as sick from Covid? Scientists are unraveling the mystery (CNBC)
STOCKS TO WATCH
Darden Restaurants (DRI) reported quarterly earnings of $1.93 per share, missing the $2.10 consensus estimate, with revenue and comparable-store sales also below analyst forecasts. Shares of the parent of Olive Garden and other restaurant chains fell 1.7% in the premarket.
KB Home (KBH) missed estimates by 9 cents with quarterly earnings of $1.47 per share, and the home builder's revenue also missed forecasts. KB Home said it was dealing with supply and labor issues that hampered its ability to complete home construction. KB Home shares lost 3.6% in premarket trading.
Spotify (SPOT) jumped 3.7% in the premarket after it reached an agreement with Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google that lets subscribers sign up for the service directly through the Google Play store. Dating services operator Match Group (MTCH), another company that's sparred with Google over fees, rallied 3.4% following the Spotify news.
Nikola (NKLA) soared 15% in premarket action after announcing electric truck production began at its Coolidge, Arizona, factory last week, meeting a goal that had been articulated during its most recent quarterly earnings report last month.
GameStop (GME) remains on watch after the videogame retailer's stock surged 14.5% Wednesday, marking a seventh straight day of gains after Chairman Ryan Cohen bought 100,000 more shares and raised his stake to 11.9%. GameStop slid 5% in premarket trading.
Trip.com (TCOM) jumped 6.2% in the premarket after the China-based travel services provider reported an unexpected profit for its latest quarter and revenue that exceeded analyst forecasts.
H.B. Fuller (FUL) rallied 5.7% in the premarket after reporting better-than-expected profit and revenue for the quarter, and raising its full-year forecast. The industrial adhesives and specialty chemicals maker said it implemented price increases to deal with higher raw materials and logistics costs.
Steelcase (SCS) reported an unexpected loss for its latest quarter, although revenue exceeded analyst estimates. The office furniture maker blamed supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures. It also issued a weaker-than-expected forecast, and its shares fell 5.4% in premarket trading.
Logitech (LOGI) added 3.5% in the premarket after Bank of America Securities began coverage with a buy rating. BofA said shares in the maker of keyboards and other computer peripherals are at an attractive entry point given Logitech's growth prospects and strong record of execution.