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What to Watch Today: Wall Street Set to Sink After Russia's Invasion of Ukraine

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BY THE NUMBERS

Global markets plunged Thursday after Russia launched an invasion of Ukraine in the early morning hours. Dow and S&P 500 futures dropped more than 2% each. Nasdaq futures sank nearly 3%. Losses of this magnitude at the open would put the Nasdaq in a bear market, as defined by declines of 20% or more from recent highs. (CNBC)

The Dow on Wednesday joined the S&P 500 and Nasdaq in correction territory. The Dow and Nasdaq logged their fifth straight session of losses. The S&P 500 saw its losing streak extend to four sessions in row. Investors sought the perceived safety of bonds, pushing prices higher and yields lower Thursday. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield fell to 1.86%. (CNBC)

U.S. crude and international oil prices spiked more than 8% on Thursday, both topping $100 per barrel for the first time since 2014. Shares of American oil companies, including Chevron (CVX) and Exxon Mobil (XOM), were among the beneficiaries in premarket trading. The reason for the surge in energy prices: Russia is a major global producer of oil and natural gas, which surged 6% on Thursday. (CNBC)

Any long-term spike in energy prices could exacerbate soaring inflation in the U.S. and complicate the Federal Reserve's path for multiple interest rate increases this year. On one hand, central bankers need to weigh the possibly of even stronger price pressures — which could argue for more aggressive hikes — against a knock on the economy and markets — which could argue for a more gradual tightening. (CNBC)

Gold surged more than 3% on Thursday to more than $1,970 per ounce, the highest prices in over a year. Like bonds, gold is seen a haven in times of geopolitical turmoil. Bitcoin, viewed in crypto circles as a store of value like gold, plunged roughly 7% on Thursday to a one-month low of around $35,100. The world's biggest digital currency has dropped about 50% from all-time highs in November. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Russia's wide-ranging attack Thursday on Ukraine included airstrikes in cities and bases, and ground movements. Ukraine's government said Russian tanks and troops rolled across the border and accused Moscow of unleashing a "full-scale war." Russian President Vladimir Putin said overnight that the goal of the "special military operation" in Ukraine is "demilitarization." (AP)

U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to address the nation Thursday afternoon. Ahead of the attack, the United States and other Western nations levied sanctions against Russia. A second wave of economically punitive measures is widely expected. NATO will "further increase our presence in the eastern part of the alliance" in the coming days and weeks, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said Thursday. (AP)

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) fell 7% in premarket trading after reporting a quarterly loss that was wider than anticipated, and revenue that missed estimates as well. It's among travel stocks under pressure this morning, stemming in large part from Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Booking Holdings (BKNG) reported adjusted quarterly earnings of $15.83 per share, well above the $13.64 consensus estimate, with the travel services company's revenue also topping Wall Street forecasts. The company said there will be periods this year when Covid negatively impacts travel. Shares fell 7.6% in the premarket amid weakness in travel stocks.

Moderna (MRNA) said Thursday it anticipates selling at least $19 billion of its Covid vaccine this year, after reporting quarterly results that blew out analyst earnings and revenue estimates. The company's shares fell about 5% in the broader premarket sell-off.

EBay (EBAY) – EBay came in 6 cents above estimates with quarterly earnings of $1.05 per share, while the e-commerce company's revenue was in line with forecasts. However, the stock is under pressure after eBay forecast weaker-than-expected current quarter results. EBay lost 8.4% in premarket action.

STOCKS TO WATCH

Live Nation (LYV) jumped 5.4% in a down market after reporting better-than-expected quarterly revenue and saying it has already sold 45 million tickets for 2022 events even as ticket prices rise substantially.

SeaWorld Entertainment (SEAS) earned 92 cents per share for its latest quarter, well above the 29 cent consensus estimate. Revenue came in above forecasts, more than doubling a year ago, with park visitors spending more per person than they had prior to the pandemic.

Gannett (GCI) tumbled 13.6% in the premarket after it posted a wider-than-expected loss for its latest quarter and revenue below estimates. Gannett also said it expects revenue to fall this year, although it still expects to be profitable.

Alibaba (BABA) fell 2.5% in premarket trading after it reported its slowest-ever growth in quarterly revenue since going public in 2014. Sales fell below analyst forecasts as competition intensified. However, its quarterly earnings beat estimates.

Wayfair (W) slid 9.5% in the premarket after posting a wider-than-expected quarterly loss. Wayfair's results were pressured by a double-digit decline in international sales.

Papa John's Pizza (PZZA) reported better-than-expected profit and revenue for its latest quarter, as profit margins improved even in the face of increased costs. Papa John's did not provide 2022 guidance due to uncertainties related to Covid-19.

Hertz Global (HTZ) beat estimates by 15 cents with an adjusted quarterly profit of 91 cents per share, though the car rental company's revenue fell slightly short of analyst projections. Demand for rental cars remained strong during the quarter, although Hertz is still experiencing post-bankruptcy restructuring expenses. Hertz fell 8.4% in the premarket amid an overall drop in travel stocks.

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