Coffee With Greta: Futures Slip to End a Strong Week


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DJIA Futures: -171 (-0.5%)

SPX Futures: -27 (-0.6%)

NASDAQ Futures: -94 (-0.7%)

Good morning friends!

Futures are lower as the market digests the latest news on the war in Ukraine.

Let’s get right to it!

St. Louis Fed President Calls for More Aggressive Rate Hikes

St. Louis Fed President James Bullard is calling for the Central Bank to be more aggressive on inflation than currently planned. 

Bullard released a statement today explaining his dissent vote on Wednesday’s rate hike. 

He was the only FOMC member to vote no on the 0.25% hike, preferring a 0.5% hike instead. 

Bullard believes the Fed should hike rates to over 3% by the end of this year, which is double the bank’s current plan.

He emphasized inflation is hurting lower-income households the most.

“The burden of excessive inflation is particularly heavy for people with modest incomes and wealth and for those with limited ability to adjust to a rising cost of living,” said Bullard.

Oil Prices Fall Flat

Oil prices are down slightly this morning as the market monitors talks between Russia and Ukraine.

West Texas Intermediate crude futures are down 0.4% to $102 per barrel with Brent crude futures slipping 0.6% to $106 per barrel.

The Kremlin said an agreement still has not been reached in peace talks with Ukraine.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is reportedly planning to visit Saudi Arabia and the UAE soon to ask them to help offset the expected supply loss from Russian oil.

Russian missile strikes hit an aircraft repair center on the outskirts of the western Ukrainian city of Lviv today.

The attack shows Russia expanding its attacks to new parts of Ukraine.

Ukraine's State Emergency Services also announced one civilian was killed in an airstrike in Kyiv that hit an apartment building.

Congress Moves to Revoke Russia’s Protected Trading Status

The House voted Thursday to revoke Russia of its status as a “most favored nation” trading partner. 

That measure passed in a 424-8 vote in the lower chamber.

It will now be sent to the Senate, where it’s expected to pass. 

Stripping Russia of the status will allow the U.S. to impose tariffs on Russian exports.

The U.S. also accused Moscow of war crimes in Ukraine after Moscow reportedly bombed a theater with civilians inside in the city of Mariupol.

Nickel Prices Plummet

Nickel prices continued to fall in trading on the London Metal Exchange. 

Prices tumbled 12% right at the open of trading toda to $36,915 per metric ton, hitting limit down.

The LME has imposed price limits this week in an effort to stabilize trading after nickel prices more than double last week to over $100,000 per metric ton.

Russia is the world’s third largest producer of nickel.

GameStop Tumbles After Surprise Q4 Loss

GameStop (GME) shares are tumbling 8.5% ahead of the open after the video game retailer reported an unexpected loss in Q4. 

The company reported an adjusted loss of $1.86 per share on $2.25 billion in revenue. 

That sharply missed analysts’ expectations for a profit of $0.85 per share and is a decline from $1.19 EPS a year ago. 

But revenue topped expectations for $2.16 billion.

GameStop confirmed its plans to launch an NFT marketplace by the end of Q2.

The company did not provide full-year guidance. 

FedEx Profits Fall Short

FedEx (FDX) shares are down 2.8% in premarket trade after missing fiscal Q3 profit expectations. 

The shipping giant reported adjusted earnings of $4.59 per share on $23.6 billion in revenue. 

Analysts were expecting adjusted EPS of $4.65 on $23.5 billion in revenue.

FedEx blamed the miss on higher costs for transportation and wages.

The company maintained its fiscal 2022 guidance, forecasting full-year earnings of $21 per share.

Existing Home Sales Preview

The National Association of Realtors releases its existing home sales report at 10:00 a.m. ET. 

Economists expect that to show sales dropped to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 6.13 million units in February. 

The existing home market has been tight with buyer demand surging while supply remains at a record low. 

That imbalance has pushed prices to record highs and priced some buyers out of the market.

In Case You Missed It

  • Weekly jobless claims beat expectations last week as the labor market nears full employment. The Labor Department reported 214,000 Americans filed initial unemployment claims vs 215,000 expected. It’s the lowest total since January 1. Continuing claims fell by 7,000 to 1.42 million vs 1.48 million expected.
  • Berkshire Hathaway Class A (BRK.A) surged to a fresh record Thursday, closing 2.9% higher at $518,438 per share. The stock rallied as Warren Buffett upped his stake in the energy sector. A new filing shows Berkshire purchased more than 18 million shares of Occidental Petroleum (OXY) in seven separate transactions between Monday and Wednesday this week. The conglomerate now holds more than 136 million OXY shares or 14.6% of the company. OXY jumped 9.5% on Thursday.


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