Editorial Staff

Editorial Staff

Futures rise as Russia, Ukraine hold peace talks

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Tuesday, putting Wall Street on course to extend a recent run of gains, as investors hoped for a breakthrough in Russia-Ukraine peace talks being held in Istanbul.

Negotiators from both sides met for the first face-to-face talks in nearly three weeks, with Kyiv seeking a ceasefire without compromising on territory or sovereignty.

The conflict has driven up commodity and metal prices, adding to a surge in inflation at a time when the U.S. Federal Reserve and other major central banks begin to withdraw stimulus put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While all the three major U.S. indexes are on course to end March higher, they are set to record their worst quarter since the first three months of 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on financial markets.

At 07:08 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 142 points, or 0.41%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 18 points, or 0.39%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 52 points, or 0.35%.

Still, strong economic data and gains in megacap stocks have supported a recent recovery in U.S. stocks even as bond markets flash signals of a possible recession, fueled by expectations of rapid interest rate hikes by the Fed.

The spread between U.S. 2-year and 10-year Treasury yields narrowed below six basis points, moving another step closer to inversion, as traders bet that faster rate hikes would hurt the U.S. economy over the longer term. [US/]

The S&P 500 rose for a third straight session on Monday, helped by sharp jump in Tesla shares following its plans to seek investor approval to increase its number of shares to enable a stock split.

Tesla rose another 1.3% in premarket trading, while other megacap companies like Meta Platforms Inc, Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Alphabet Inc and Microsoft Corp gained between 0.2% and 0.5%.

Wall Street’s fear gauge, the CBOE Volatility index, slipped to 19.43 points, its lowest since mid-January.

Oil majors Exxon Mobil Corp and Chevron Corp rose almost 1% each as crude prices rebounded on supply tightness, with major producers showing no sign of being in a hurry to boost output. [O/R]

FedEx Corp gained 2.6% after naming its operating chief, Raj Subramaniam, as the chief executive officer, replacing the global delivery conglomerate’s founder Fred Smith.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., March 21, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid