Wall Street set to open higher, breaking a multiday losing streak

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures bounced Wednesday after the S&P 500 closed in correction territory as tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated. The Dow on Tuesday fell 483 points, or 1.4%, for its fourth straight negative session. At one point the 30-stock average had been down more than 700 points. The S&P 500 dropped 1% for its third straight loss. The Nasdaq shed 1.2% for its fourth straight negative session.

Lowe’s (LOW) on Wednesday surpassed quarterly earnings and revenue expectations and raised its full-year forecast for each, as Americans buy, fix up and renovate their homes in a tight real estate market. The company’s shares rose 3% in premarket trading, as the home improvement retailer said momentum carried into February.

Climbing mortgage rates are hitting both potential homebuyers and refinance candidates. Total mortgage applications decreased 13.1% last week to their lowest level since December 2019, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Refis dropped 15% last week. Home prices have been climbing steadily during Covid and didn’t let up last year.

Photo by Nicholas Cappello on Unsplash

IN THE NEWS TODAY

President Joe Biden announced Tuesday afternoon a first batch of sanctions against Russia for its Ukraine incursion. The U.S. held back even tougher measures waiting to see Moscow’s next move. After weeks of trying to project calm, Ukraine on Wednesday urged its citizens to leave Russia, and it’s also set to impose a state of emergency. (CNBC & AP)

* Why is there conflict in east Ukraine and what is Putin’s endgame? (CNBC)
* Russia’s incursion heightens chance of policy mistakes by central banks (CNBC)

The U.S. has turned the corner on the omicron wave, with new daily Covid infections plummeting 90% from a pandemic high less than six weeks ago. The U.S. is reporting about 84,000 new cases per day on average, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University, down from a pandemic high of more than 800,000 daily cases on Jan. 15. (CNBC)

Tesla (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk, in an email exchange with CNBC, accused President Joe Biden of ignoring his electric vehicle company in favor of paying more attention to legacy auto makers. But Musk on Tuesday also sought to assure White House officials that if he were invited to speak at a White House event. He would “do the right thing.”

* Tesla, EPA reach a settlement after automaker’s Clean Air Act violations (CNBC)
* From Tesla to Jeep: End of 3G is a problem for millions of car owners (CNBC)

A bipartisan group of 30 lawmakers, in a letter sent Wednesday and shared exclusively with CNBC, is urging Biden to push European leaders to alter language in their proposed Digital Markets Act so that it does not unfairly target U.S. tech companies.

Biden has conducted interviews with three potential picks for the Supreme Court as he nears a final decision on his promise to nominate a Black woman to the nation’s high court for the first time. The president is expected to announce his choice to replace retiring Justice Breyer by the end of the month. (WSJ)

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STOCKS TO WATCH

Tenneco (TEN) agreed to be acquired by affiliates of Apollo Global Management (APO) for $20 per share in cash, compared with the automotive components maker’s Tuesday close of $9.98 per share. Tenneco soared more than 90% in premarket action.

Stellantis (STLA) beat its profit targets in the first year following the merger of Fiat Chrysler and Peugeot parent PSA Group. The automaker also said it was realizing projected benefits from that combination sooner than originally expected. The stock surged 6% in the premarket.

Virgin Galactic (SPCE) jumped 4% in premarket trading after the space tourism company reported a narrower-than-expected quarterly loss and improvement in its cash position.

Tupperware (TUP) dropped 3% in the premarket following its quarterly earnings report. Tupperware’s revenue was above Street forecasts, but its adjusted profit missed estimates, citing “challenging operating conditions.”

Palo Alto Networks (PANW) beat estimates with quarterly earnings and revenue. The maker of cybersecurity software also gave a better-than-expected forecast. Shares rallied nearly 8% in premarket trading.

GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) rose 1.7% in the premarket and Sanofi (SNY)was up 1.5% following news that the two companies would submit their Covid vaccine to global drug regulators for approval.

Kodiak Sciences (KOD) said a mid-to-late stage trial of its experimental eye drug failed to improve vision in participants as much as those given Regeneron’s (REGN) Eylea macular degeneration treatment. Kodiak tumbled 69% in premarket trading while Regeneron jumped 4.5%.

Caesars Entertainment (CZR) jumped 4.5% in premarket trading after the company reported a 63% jump in revenue compared with a year ago, and a narrower loss.

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