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What to Watch Today: Stock Futures Start March Lower as Russia Pushes Toward Kyiv

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U.S. stock futures fell Tuesday, on the first day of March, as Russia bears down on Ukraine's capital city of Kyiv. Bond yields dropped, while oil and bitcoin jumped. Investors are also concentrating on retail earnings, with Target (TGT) shares soaring 12% after forecasting continued sales growth. (CNBC)

The Dow and the S&P 500 broke two-session winning streaks with modest losses Monday; though they were well off their lows of the day. A late-session rally actually pushed the Nasdaq positive. For all of February, the three stock benchmarks dropped more than 3% each. (CNBC)

U.S. oil prices soared more than 4% on Tuesday, with West Texas Intermediate crude topping $101 per barrel, its highest level since July 2014, as Russia pounded Ukraine's second-largest city, Kharkiv, and a 40-mile convoy approached Kyiv. U.S. sanctions for Moscow's unprovoked invasion of Ukraine do not target oil from Russia, which exports some 4 million to 5 million barrels per day of crude. (CNBC)

Investors were also seeking the safety of bonds, inversely pushing the 10-year Treasury yield lower to roughly 1.77% on Tuesday. Bitcoin jumped 6%, though way off overnight highs, to around $44,400. Crypto proponents see bitcoin as a haven and a store of value like gold. Actual gold prices also rose more than 1% to roughly $1,920 per ounce. (CNBC)


On Day Six of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, the fighting has reached beyond military targets, with evidence documented by Associated Press reporters of shelling of homes, schools and hospitals. The Kremlin denies that. A first round of talks between Ukraine and Russia failed to yield a cease-fire. Both sides agreed to another meeting in coming days. (AP)

* Russia ETFs continue plunge as its stock market remains closed (CNBC)
* Visa, Mastercard block Russian banks from their networks after sanctions (CNBC)
* Global hacking group Anonymous launches 'cyber war' against Russia (CNBC)

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy spoke to the European Parliament on Tuesday, saying "nobody is going to break us." Earlier in a Facebook video, Zelenskyy called Kharkiv shelling "undisguised terror" that "no one will forget." He also said that holding Kyiv is a "key priority." (The Guardian)

Hollywood studios are halting theatrical releases in Russia, including the new Pixar film "Turning Red." Disney (DIS) was the first major studio to take a hard stance against Russia after it invaded Ukraine. AT&T's (T) Warner Bros. and Sony have also decided not to release films in the country. (CNBC)

President Joe Biden will deliver his State of the Union address Tuesday night, facing turmoil both foreign and domestic. From Russian aggression to navigating the U.S. out of the pandemic to a stalled social and climate agenda to soaring inflation, Biden addresses a nation frustrated with his performance in the White House. (AP)

Target closed out 2021, saying Tuesday it weathered supply chain challenges and built on e-commerce and customer gains during the Covid. Fourth-quarter adjusted earnings beat estimates while revenue missed. But the stock really took off on better-than-expected full-year guidance on the top and bottom lines, and rosy operating margins. (CNBC)

* Target to spend $300 million more in next year improving wages and healthcare (Reuters)
* Kohl’s reports light sales for the holiday quarter, issues upbeat guidance (CNBC)

Pfizer (PFE) two-dose Covid vaccine provided very little protection for children aged 5 to 11 during the wave of omicron infection in New York, according to a new study published. The New York Department of Health found the effectiveness of the shots plunged from 68% to 12% for kids in that age group. (CNBC)

Novavax (NVAX) fell 6.6% premarket after the company missed on the top and bottom line of its quarterly report. Novavax posted a loss of $11.18 per share on revenue of $222.2 million. Though it will seek full approval of its Covid vaccine in the second half of this year. (Reuters)

Zoom Video (ZM) lost 2.5% in premarket trading after issuing full-year guidance below what analysts had predicted. The company beat earnings and revenue expectations. Since peaking in October 2020 as a stay-at-home play, the stock has lost over three-quarters of its value. (CNBC)

Lucid Group (LCID) tanked more than 12% premarket after a disappointing quarterly report. The electric vehicle maker reported a wider-than-expected loss of 64 cents per share compared with the Refinitiv consensus estimate loss of 25 cents per share. Revenue also missed expectations. (CNBC)


AutoZone (AZO) added 3.6% in early morning trading after a better-than-expected earnings report. The company reported second-quarter earnings of $22.30 per share on revenue of $3.37 billion. Analysts surveyed by Refinitiv had expected a profit of $17.79 per share on revenue of $3.17 billion.

Kroger (KR) rose more than 2% in the premarket after Telsey upgraded the grocery store chain ahead of its earnings report. "We believe we have higher visibility and confidence into Kroger's multi-year omni-channel growth runway," Telsey's Joseph Feldman said.

Foot Locker (FL) retreated 3% in premarket trading after Goldman Sachs became the latest Wall Street firm to downgrade the athletic retailer after a disappointing update Friday. Barclays and B. Riley on Tuesday both also downgraded Foot Locker.

Workday (WDAY) rose more than 7% in premarket trading after the software company beat expectations for its quarterly results. The company reported a profit of 78 cents per share, topping the Refinitiv estimate of 71 cents per share. Revenue also surpassed projections.

HP Inc. (HPQ) dipped 2% in premarket trading even after an earnings beat. The company posted adjusted earnings of $1.10 per share versus the Refinitiv estimate of $1.02 per share. Sales also topped expectations.

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