U.S. stock futures started March negative, falling Tuesday as investors continue to monitor the fighting between Russia and Ukraine.
Dow futures dropped 157 points or 0.46%. S&P 500 futures were off 0.78% and Nasdaq 100 futures slipped 0.25%.
Some of the early stock losses were offset by strong Target earnings, as the Big Box retailer posted profit of $3.19 a share that was well ahead of Wall Street estimates. Shares jumped nearly 10% in premarket trading.
The decline in index futures came as satellite cameras captured a convoy of Russian military vehicles apparently on its way to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital.
Financial stocks were some of the biggest early losers in Tuesday premarket trading, with Bank of America down 2%, Citigroup off 1.8% and Charles Schwab lower by 1.5%.
Treasury yields were mostly lower, with the benchmark 10-year note most recently at 1.7%, its lowest since Jan. 24. Yields move opposite prices, so the decline represents a rush into safe-haven bonds amid the stock market turmoil.
As futures fell, energy prices rose, with West Texas Intermediate oil up 3.3% to $98.87 a barrel and Brent crude climbing 3.8% to $101.68. Natural gas was up 2.2% as well.
Ukrainian and Russian officials wrapped up a critical round of talks Monday.
In a volatile session Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost nearly 170 points. The S&P 500 dropped 0.24% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.4%.
Meanwhile, the central bank of Russia more than doubled its key interest rate on Monday, as the ruble plummeted after heavy sanctions were imposed on Moscow by the West.
JPMorgan’s Marko Kolanovic said Monday the worst of the Russia-Ukraine sell-off might be over.
“The Russia/Ukraine crisis will continue to produce market volatility, but the direct impact on corporate earnings should be small. Indirect risks are more substantial, given effects of higher commodity prices on inflation, growth, and consumers,” Kolanovic said in a Monday afternoon note. “However, one silver lining is that the crisis forced a dovish reassessment of the Fed by the market.”
Investors are also gearing up to hear from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in his semiannual hearing at House Committee on Financial Services, which begins on Wednesday.
Monday also marked the final trading day of February. The Dow lost 3.5% for the month. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq fell 3.1% and 3.4%, respectively.
Looking to Tuesday, big box retailer Target reports earnings before the bell and cloud giant Salesforce reports after the close.
On the economic front, February’s Markit Manufacturing PMI will be released at 9:45 a.m. on Tuesday. ISM manufacturing PMI for February will be out at 10 a.m.
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