U.S. Futures Edge Higher; U.S./Russia Talks, Roku in Focus

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U.S. Futures Edge Higher; U.S./Russia Talks, Roku in Focus

By Peter Nurse    

Investing.com -- U.S. stocks are seen opening higher Friday, bouncing back from the previous session’s hefty losses amid hopes that talks between Russia and the U.S. next week will defuse the crisis on the Ukraine border.

At 7 AM ET (1200 GMT), the Dow Futures contract was up 75 points, or 0.2%, S&P 500 Futures traded 16 points, or 0.4%, higher and Nasdaq 100 Futures climbed 75 points, or 0.5%.

Global markets have been roiled this week by the fear of a Russian invasion of Ukraine that could potentially disrupt European energy supplies and Russian exports of other commodities, notably wheat and palladium.

The major indices on Wall Street all closed sharply lower Thursday after both Russian-backed rebels and Ukrainian forces claimed the other side had shelled their positions in the east of the country, potentially creating the circumstances that Russia could use as justification to invade. Russia will hold exercises to test the readiness of its nuclear and ballistic missiles on Saturday, flexing its military muscles once more.

The blue chip Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than 600 points, or 1.8%, for its biggest daily drop since the end of November, while the broad-based S&P 500 dropped 2.1% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite declined 2.9%.

However, the mood has improved a little after Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in Europe next week, a sign that neither side is abandoning diplomatic channels yet.

Elsewhere, St. Louis Fed president James Bullard continued his campaign for aggressive monetary policy tightening by the U.S. central bank, repeating Thursday that the Fed should implement a full percentage point of rate increases over its next three meetings. He warned that the Fed Funds rate may have to top 2% to bring inflation down over the medium term.

There are a number of Fed speakers due later Friday, including Chicago Fed President Charles Evans, FOMC member John Williams and Fed Vice Chair Lael Brainard, and their comments will be studied carefully for clues ahead of the March meeting. 

Turning to the corporate sector, Roku (NASDAQ: ROKU ) stock tumbled premarket after the video-streaming company disappointed with its quarterly revenue, hit by supply chain issues that affected sales.

Agricultural equipment maker Deere & Company (NYSE: DE ) lifted its full-year profit forecast, expecting to benefit from solid demand for its tractors against a backdrop of high grain prices. Numbers are also due from sports betting company DraftKings (NASDAQ: DKNG ), tech company Cerner (NASDAQ: CERN ) and Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB ). 

Oil prices slipped, heading for a weekly fall, as traders digested the raised prospects of Iranian oil returning to the global market, which outweighed the ongoing Russia-Ukraine risks.

A draft accord is taking shape that would eventually lead to the removal of oil sanctions on the Persian Gulf country’s crude exports. Such a deal could result in an additional 1 million barrels a day of oil coming back to the market, according to some estimates.

Details of the number of U.S. oil rigs in play from Baker Hughes and CFTC crude oil positioning data round off the week later in the session.

By 7 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 1.9% lower at $90.05 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 1.8% to $91.30. Both contracts were set for their first weekly fall in nine weeks, after hitting their highest levels for over seven years earlier in the week.

Additionally, gold futures fell 0.4% to $1,893.55/oz, while EUR/USD traded 0.1% higher at 1.1366.

 

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