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What to Watch Today: Wall Street Looks Steady, Oil Spikes to Near 14-Year Highs

Brendan McDermid | Reuters

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures rose modestly Thursday, with a second round of cease-fire talks between Russia and Ukraine set in neighboring Belarus. However, fighting continued on multiple fronts in Ukraine as Russian troops hold outside the capital city of Kyiv. The Dow and the S&P 500 broke a two-session losing streak in Wednesday's strong rally that saw both benchmarks rise roughly 1.8% each. The Nasdaq gained 1.6%. (CNBC)

* Cramer: 10 high-yielding dividend stocks should be on your shopping list (CNBC)
* Cramer points to several market positives that could spark a sustained rally (CNBC)
* Bill Gross sees possibility of stagflation, would not be a buyer of stocks now (CNBC)

West Texas Intermediate crude, the American oil benchmark, rose again Thursday, hitting highs back to September 2008, above $116 per barrel before backing off those levels. Trade disruptions from sanctions on Russia were raising energy supply concerns. The world's three largest container shipping lines have all temporarily suspended nonessential bookings to and from Russia, joining a fast-growing list of companies to shun Moscow. (CNBC)

* The West aims to destroy Russia's economy. Analysts think it could succeed (CNBC)

The 10-year Treasury yield traded around 1.86% on Thursday, a day after its biggest one-session jump since March 2020 — the month the Covid pandemic started — as investors sold bonds and flocked to stocks and other risker assets. The volatility on Russia-Ukraine uncertainty sent bond prices higher Tuesday, which inversely sent the 10-year yield below 1.7%. (CNBC)

The Labor Department on Thursday morning reported fewer-than-expected initial jobless claims of 215,000 for the week ended Feb. 26. The data came a day before the government's monthly employment report and a day after ADP's stronger-than-expected data on hiring at U.S. companies in February. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell is back on Capitol Hill on Thursday. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

As Russia's invasion of Ukraine entered its second week, the United Nations said Thursday that more than 1 million people have fled Ukraine, in the swiftest refugee exodus this century. Russia has said Kyiv's residents will be allowed to evacuate the city in the direction of Vasylkiv, to the southwest of the city. (AP)

With a column of tanks and other vehicles apparently stalled for days outside Kyiv, explosions rocked the Ukrainian capital city overnight. One video on social media showed a huge fireball rising into the sky. The targets of the explosion are not yet known. NBC News was working to verify the social media posts. (CNBC)

The House panel investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol said Wednesday for the first time that its evidence suggests crimes may have been committed by former President Donald Trump and his associates in the failed effort to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. (AP)

Best Buy (BBY) on Thursday reported fourth-quarter revenue that fell short of expectations and per-share earnings that matched estimates. However, the stock gained 9% in the premarket, even as the consumer electronics retailer also delivered a weaker-than-expected outlook for fiscal 2022. Best Buy is lapping challenging year-over-year comparisons when the pandemic and stimulus checks fueled sales. (CNBC)

Shares of Snowflake (SNOW) sank roughly 20% in Thursday's premarket, the morning after the cloud software company forecast slowing product revenue growth, which makes up most of total sales. Snowflake's better-than-expected revenue grew 101% year over year in its fiscal fourth quarter. But that's the slowest sales growth since at least 2019. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Apparel chain American Eagle Outfitters (AEO) expects earnings to decline in the first half of 2022, after hitting a more than 10-year high last year, as benefits from the federal stimulus fade and freight expenses spiral upward. Shares fell 4% in the premarket. (CNBC)

* Cramer's Investing Club: AEO's cautious guidance is rooted in temporary headwinds (CNBC)

Peloton (PTON) co-founder and ex-CEO John Foley has sold about $50 million in stock to an investment firm backed by Michael Dell, MSD Partners, according to a securities filing. Foley stepped down from the CEO role in February, and was replaced by former Netflix and Spotify executive Barry McCarthy. (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk said he's open to the United Auto Workers holding a vote about organizing the electric automaker after long resisting such a move. Tesla's lack of unionization has left it on the outs with the Biden administration as the president pushes to get Americans to embrace union-made EVs. (WSJ)

* Musk, Tesla face trial over CEO's multibillion-dollar pay package from 2018 (CNBC)
* Amazon workers get go-ahead for a second union election in New York (Reuters)

Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google unit said it will end the voluntary work-from-home period and start having employees in the Bay Area and several other U.S. locations return to the office, effective the week of April 4. Google's latest guidance comes a week after CNBC reported that the company had been relaxing some of its Covid mandates.

* Apple announces March 8 event; low-cost 5G iPhone and new iPad expected (CNBC)

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