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U.S. stock futures rise cautiously as Russia broadens campaign in Ukraine

U.S. stock futures moved cautiously higher on Friday, but with investors wary amid an intensifying Russian-Ukraine war that has heightened worries about global growth and inflation.

How are stock-index futures trading?
  • S&P 500 futures

    rose 0.4% to 4,264

  • Dow Jones Industrial Average futures

    gained 0.3%, or 95 points, to 33,131

  • Nasdaq-100 futures

    gained 0.4% to 13,633

On Thursday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average 

 closed down 112.18 points, or 0.3%, to 33,174.07. The S&P 500 

dropped 0.4% to 4,259.52, and the Nasdaq Composite 

fell 0.9% to 13,129.96.

What’s driving markets?

Major indexes were facing weekly losses of more than 1%, as investors have grappled with the continuing Russia-Ukraine war. The Dow is set to mark its fifth-straight weekly loss, while the S&P 500 and Nasdaq are each poised for a third down week in a row.

With the bulk of the week’s data out of the way, the focus for Friday will likely fall on headlines from the brutal conflict that began more than two weeks ago.

Widening its campaign, Russian forces launched new strikes on airports in western cities on Friday, as Kyiv continued to brace for an onslaught. That’s as Ukrainian authorities announced plans both evacuate civilians and funnel humanitarian aid into the beseigned city of Mariupol.

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President Joe Biden is expected to announce Friday that the U.S. along with the EU and Group of Seven countries, will call for an end of normal trade relations for Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.

The University of Michigan consumer sentiment survey for March is due after the market’s open. Thursday’s consumer price data showed U.S. February consumer prices rose to 7.9%, a 40-year high, and some see that worsening due to the Russia-Ukraine war.

Goldman Sachs cut its U.S. growth forecast, citing the effects of higher oil prices and the conflict on European soil. Oil prices were up about 2% on Friday.

The European Central Bank surprised markets on Thursday with plans to speed up the winding down of its asset-buying program, in response to rising inflationary pressures, and said the Russia-Ukraine war would negatively affect the region.

The Federal Reserve will hold its first meeting since the conflict began next week, with analysts widely expecting a rate increase of around 25 basis points.

What companies are in focus?
  • Shares of DocuSign Inc.

    tumbled 18% after the online-signature company’s annual guidance disappointed late Thursday.

  • Rivian Automotive Inc. shares

    fell 11% in premarket trading after the electric-truck maker said it lost more than $2 billion in the fourth quarter, amid continued supply-chain disruptions.

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How are other assets trading?
  • The yield on the 10-year Treasury note

    fell 2 basis points to 1.986%. Yields and debt prices move opposite each other.

  • The ICE U.S. Dollar Index DXY, a measure of the currency against a basket of six major rivals, rose 0.1%.

  • Gold futures for April delivery 


    slipped 0.1% to $1,997.70 an ounce.

  • Bitcoin 

    fell nearly 0.6%, to $39,11.

  • In European equities, the Stoxx Europe 600 

    rose 1.2%, while London’s FTSE 100 UKX gained 1.4%.

  • In Asia, the Shanghai Composite SHCOMP rose 0.4%, but the Hang Seng Index HSI fell 1.6% and Japan’s Nikkei 225 NIK lost 2%.

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