U.S. stock futures edged higher, putting Wall Street indexes on course to recoup some of Wednesday’s losses, while oil prices hovered near recent highs.
Futures for the S&P 500 added 0.4% Thursday. Contracts for the tech-focused Nasdaq-100 rose 0.5% and futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.3%. U.S. stocks declined and oil prices jumped Wednesday.
In premarket trading, shares of
soared 18% after the company confirmed that production has begun on its electric commercial truck, the Tre.
Investors have grappled with how Russia’s war with Ukraine will put additional pressure on supply chains that are already disrupted from Covid-19. Oil prices, which remain above $100 a barrel, have added to concerns that consumers could see higher prices for energy and even products like plastic wrap or lawn fertilizer. Federal Reserve officials have penciled in a series of additional interest-rate increases to limit inflation this year.
Brent-crude futures, the international benchmark, were flat at $117.89 a barrel.
“Through mid-February, it was all about rising rates, and then it was all about the war, and what’s concerning now is that they’ve combined,” said Daniel Morris, chief market strategist at BNP Paribas Asset Management. “The challenge in this environment is what do you buy. You can’t sit in cash. It is a ‘least-bad option’-type of market.”
Russia’s stock market jumped in its first limited trading session since the West unveiled punishing sanctions nearly a month ago. The benchmark MOEX index added around 4%.
The increase is unlikely to be interpreted as a sign that all is well with the Russian economy. Only 33 shares out of 50 shares on the index were allowed to trade. To prevent a steep selloff, Russia’s central bank banned short selling, and blocked foreigners, who make up a huge chunk of the market, from selling their shares.
The move will also help prevent the ruble from weakening, as foreign investors would likely sell their ruble-denominated shares and then move out of the ruble for the dollar or euro. Russia’s currency has trimmed some of its losses against the dollar in recent sessions, trading at 98 rubles to the dollar Thursday.
In bond markets, the yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note ticked up to 2.383% from 2.320% Wednesday. Yields and prices move inversely.
Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 was flat. Major indexes in Asia closed with mixed performance. China’s Shanghai Composite fell 0.6%, and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng declined 0.9%. Japan’s Nikkei 225 added almost 0.3%.
New orders for durable goods—products designed to last at least three years—fell 2.2% in February from the month prior after auto production was again held back by supply chain bottlenecks and
had a relatively weak month for aircraft orders.
The number of Americans applying for first-time unemployment benefits fell to 187,000 in the week ended March 19, down from 215,000 in the week prior.
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