Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
1. Stock futures are down to start the week
People walk along Wall Street near the New York Stock Exchange on March 08, 2022 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
U.S. stock futures were slightly lower Monday morning as Wall Street looks to bounce back from a losing week. The tech-focused Nasdaq Composite saw the biggest declines last week, falling nearly 3.9% as investors prepared for more aggressive policy tightening from the Federal Reserve. The S&P 500 slid 1.27%, ending a three-week winning streak, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 0.28%. The 30-stock Dow has now fallen two weeks in a row.
Investors will get two key pieces of inflation data during this holiday-shortened trading week. The consumer price index for March is scheduled to be released Tuesday, followed by the producer price index a day later. The latest earnings season also is about to get underway, led by the major banks. JPMorgan is set to post results Wednesday, with others including Goldman Sachs following on Thursday.
2. Bond yields continue to rise; oil slides
Traders on the floor of the NYSE, March 25, 2022.
Bond yields ticker higher Monday morning, with the 10-year Treasury yield climbing 4 basis points to top 2.76%. The 5-year and 30-year rates remain inverted, which in late March happened for the first time since 2006 and added to fears of a possible recession. Bond yields, which move inversely to prices, have surged over the past month, as investors brace for more hawkish Fed policy.
Oil prices fell by more than 4% on Monday, sending U.S. benchmark West Texas Intermediate crude futures below $94 per barrel. International benchmark Brent dropped about 4.1% to around $98.50 per barrel. Crude has declined for the past two weeks, after the U.S. and other countries announced plans to release oil from their strategic reserves in an attempt to offset lost Russian supply. Covid lockdowns in China, which can weaken demand, also have weighed on oil prices.
3. Elon Musk is no longer joining Twitter board
Elon Musk gestures as he speaks during a press conference at SpaceX’s Starbase facility near Boca Chica Village in South Texas on February 10, 2022.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
Twitter shares fell Monday in premarket trading after CEO Parag Agrawal announced in a tweet Sunday night that Elon Musk is no longer joining the social network’s board of directors. Securities filings released last week revealed that Musk, CEO of Tesla and privately held rocket company SpaceX, had become Twitter’s largest individual shareholder. Plans to appoint Musk to Twitter’s board followed, sparking speculation about how the world’s wealthiest person and frequent tweeter would influence the company.
Agrawal did not say whether Musk offered specific reasons for opting against becoming a Twitter director. While Agrawal warned about “distractions ahead,” the CEO said Twitter would “remain open” to Musk’s input.
4. China inflation tops estimates; Covid crackdown reaches Guangzhou
All 11 districts of Guangzhou city began another round of mass Covid testing late last week, while elementary and middle schools shifted to online learning as of Monday.
Costfoto | Future Publishing | Getty Images
Inflation in China came in hotter than expected for the month of March, as the world’s second-largest economy experiences its worst wave of Covid infections since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in early 2020. Major Chinese stock indexes fell on Monday, with the Shenzhen component and Shanghai composite dropping nearly 3.7% and 2.6%, respectively.
Tighter health restrictions are being imposed in Guangzhou, which is the capital of manufacturing-heavy Guangdong province. The city is moving elementary and middle school classes to online instruction for at least a week, and residents are not allowed to leave Guangzhou without a “definite need,” The Associated Press reported; they also must show a negative Covid test within 48 hours to do so.
Covid lockdowns in Shanghai, however, may be easing in certain residential areas without new cases during a two-week window, according to Reuters. China’s most populous city is seeing record new Covid infections, but strict, weekslong restrictions have led some residents to struggle obtaining enough food and medicine.
5. Zelenskyy asks South Korea for military aid, says ‘war is far from over’
Zelenskyy tells South Korean lawmakers that almost 300 hospitals have been destroyed in Ukraine.
Chung Sung-jun | AFP | Getty Images