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Coffee With Greta: Russia-Ukraine Intensifies


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DJIA Futures: -126 (-0.4%)

SPX Futures: -10 (-0.2%)

NASDAQ Futures: -77 (-0.6%)

Good morning friends!

Futures are lower as tensions escalate between Russia and Ukraine.

Let’s get right to it!

Russian Forces Move In to Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin recognized the independence of the Dunetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine on Monday. 

He then ordered Russian troops to enter those separatist regions, on what Putin claims is a “peacekeeping” mission. 

In response, President Biden ordered sanctions on both regions via an executive order.

The U.K. also imposed economic sanctions against five Russian banks and three wealthy individuals.

This escalation undermines U.S. willingness to work toward a diplomatic solution. 

Biden had previously agreed to meet with Putin in a summit with French President Emmanuel Macron, if Russia did not invade Ukraine. 

Secretary of State Antony Blinken is slated to meet with Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba today. 

Gas Prices Hit 8-Year High

Gas prices are continuing to rise as oil prices surge on the Russia-Ukraine tensions. 

Data from AAA shows the national average has surged to an 8-year high of $3.53 per gallon.

More price increases are likely on the way with oil continuing to balloon. 

West Texas Intermediate Crude futures are up 3.1%, nearing $94 per barrel.

Crypto Drops

Cryptocurrency prices are down as traders sell-off risk assets amid the Russia-Ukraine tensions. 

Bitcoin hit a more than two-week low at $36,370 this morning but is now back above $37,500. 

Ethereum is trading around $2,500 while Dogecoin is at $0.13.

Home Depot Beats Q4 Expectations

Home Depot (HD) shares are down 3.1% in premarket trade despite beating Q4 expectations on the top and bottom line.

The home improvement retailer reported earnings of $3.21 per share on $35.72 billion in revenue.

That beat analysts' expectations for EPS of $3.18 on $34.87 billion in revenue.

Home Depot's global same-store sales surged 8.1% year-over-year while U.S. same-store sales jumped 7.6%.

The company forecast growth this fiscal year in-line with expectations.

The board approved a 15% quarterly dividend increase to $1.90 per share.

Macy’s Pops on Earnings Beat

Macy's (M) shares are up 6.3% ahead of the open after strong Q4 earnings.

The department store reported adjusted earnings of $2.45 per share on $8.67 billion in revenue.

That was better than analysts' forecasts for EPS of $2 on $8.47 billion in revenue.

Same-store sales surged 27.8% year-over-year and 6.1% compared to 2020.

Macy's fiscal 2022 forecast was also stronger than expected.

Finally, the company announced a $2 billion stock repurchase program and hiked its dividend by 5%.

Are Home Prices Still Rising?

The December S&P Case-Shiller home price index prints at 9:00 a.m. ET.

Buyers are hopeful this report will show a continued slowdown in the pace of home price growth. 

Rising mortgage rates are further squeezing buyers who were already being pressured by high prices. 

The average 30-year contract rate rose above 4% last week for the first time since 2019.

But economists say prices will not fall anytime soon, as demand continues to far outpace supply.

How Are Consumers Feeling About Inflation?

The Conference Board releases its February consumer confidence index at 10:00 a.m. ET. 

Consensus estimates show the survey falling more than 4 points to 109.5 this month. 

Consumers have been squeezed by surging inflation as the CPI hit a fresh 40-year high in January. 

The market is also eyeing more inflation data this week, with the PCE index scheduled to be released Friday. 

The Core PCE is the Fed’s preferred measure of inflation. 

In Case You Missed It

  • U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson lifted all remaining Covid restrictions in the country Monday. Those who test positive will no longer be legally required to isolate for 10 days. Free mass testing will also end April 1. The decision came just a day after the Queen tested positive. 

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