Sunday, April 2

Futures bounce back on diplomacy hopes to avoid Ukraine conflict

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US stock indexes were set to rise on Friday as news of talks between the United States and Russia over tensions in Ukraine calmed investor nerves.

Wall Street ended deeply in the red on Thursday, putting the main indexes on track for their second straight weekly loss, after Moscow expelled deputy US ambassador Bartle Gorman, and US President Joe Biden said a Russian invasion of Ukraine could happen in the next few days .

Later, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken agreed to meet Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov next week, provided Russia has not invaded first, calming markets globally and denting demand for safe-havens.

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At 6:55 am ET, Dow e-minis were up 77 points, or 0.22%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 15.25 points, or 0.35%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 75.5 points, or 0.53%.

“While we’re still being warned that a Russian invasion is highly likely, the meeting does offer hope that nothing will happen before then which is bringing some stability in the markets,” said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst, UK & EMEA, OANDA .

Geopolitical headlines rattled market this week, with speculations about the Federal Reserve’s policy tightening plans for the year adding to the downbeat mood. The Fed’s next monetary policy decision is due in about a month’s time.

The CBOE volatility index, also known as Wall Street’s fear gauge, was last up 26.94 points, well above its long-term average of 20.

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Bank of America rose 0.9% on Friday to lead gains among big banks in premarket trading.

Tesla rose 1.3%, while other megacap tech stocks such as Apple, Meta Platforms, Google and Microsoft gained around 0.8% each.

Livent Corp jumped 10.2% after the lithium producer forecast upbeat 2022 revenue following a strong fourth-quarter performance.

Shake Shack Inc slumped 14.2% after the burger chain forecast first-quarter revenue below estimates as the fast-spreading Omicron variant kept diners away and led to temporary restaurant closures.

Roku Inc tumbled 24.3% after the streaming platform’s disappointing quarterly revenue and outlook, as it was hit by supply-chain issues. (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)