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What to Watch Today: Stock Futures Fall on Ukraine Nuclear Plant Worries

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Dow, S&P and Nasdaq futures dropped nearly 1% after Russia attacked, caused a fire and took over Europe's largest nuclear power plant in Ukraine early Friday. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were already tracking for weekly declines. All three stock benchmarks fell Thursday, with Nasdaq leading the way lower with a nearly 1.6% retreat. (CNBC)

The U.S. economy created 678,000 nonfarm jobs in February, the Labor Department said Friday morning. That was a much bigger increase than economists had predicted. The unemployment rate dipped to 3.8%, a slightly steeper-than-forecast decline. In a sign of possible cooling inflation, wages last month rose 5.1% year over year, which was well below estimates. (CNBC)

The jobs release is the final monthly report before the Federal Reserve meets March 15 and 16. The markets expect multiple interest rate hikes this year, starting this month. Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said as much before a House panel Wednesday, when he delivered his semiannual economic assessment on Capitol Hill. (Reuters)


Ukrainian firefighters on Friday put out a blaze at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant that Russian forces seized overnight. No radiation was released, according to United Nations and Ukrainian officials. In the early days of the invasion, now more than a week old, Russian troops captured the decommissioned Chornobyl plant in Ukraine, the site of the world's worst nuclear accident in 1986. (CNBC)

* EU considers energy sanctions on Russia after nuclear power plant attack (CNBC)

U.S. oil prices jumped Friday — but not as high as the previous day's near 14-year high of more than $116 per barrel. After Thursday's early session surge, West Texas Intermediate crude turned lower and settled in New York trading down more than 2.6%. However, WTI remained up a stunning 17.5% for the week on worries about supply due to Russian aggression. (CNBC)

Investors sought the perceived safety of bonds Friday ahead of the jobs report on concerns about the escalating fighting in Ukraine. The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield, which moves inversely to price, fell to around 1.78%. The 10-year yield on Wednesday saw its biggest one-session jump since March 2020. (CNBC)

Russian sanctions spark fire sale and asset freezes for U.K.-based oligarchs. Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich has embarked on a sale of his most valuable U.K. assets, including Chelsea soccer club. It comes as Russian President Vladimir Putin's inner circle seek to distance themselves from their wealth. (CNBC)

* Airbnb suspends operations in Russia, days after Ukraine refugees free housing (CNBC)
* Google suspends all advertising in Russia (CNBC)

Gap (GPS) shares climbed 7% in Friday's premarket, the morning after the apparel retailer offered an upbeat profit forecast for 2022, in spite of rising inflation and logistics challenges. However, in the near term, Gap sees continued struggles in its first quarter, echoing comments from American Eagle Outfitters, Abercrombie & Fitch, Urban Outfitters and Victoria's Secret. (CNBC)

Costco (COST) reported strong fiscal second-quarter results Thursday evening. Better-than-expected earnings and revenue saw strong year-over-year increases. However the stock dropped 2% in premarket trading as Wall Street remained concerned about names with premium multiples. (CNBC Investing Club)

* Investing Club: Chip stock Marvell worth the wait, given strong results and guidance (CNBC)

Japanese electronics giant Sony and carmaker Honda have created a joint venture to make and sell electric vehicles, the companies said Friday. Sony and Honda aim to establish a new company this year and begin sales of their first vehicle in 2025. (CNBC)


Rivian Automotive (RIVN) quickly backtracked from a plan to increase prices on vehicles that had already been ordered by customers. In a letter to stakeholders on Thursday, Rivian's CEO acknowledged that Tuesday's price increases "broke the trust."

Tesla (TSLA) fell 1.2% in premarket trading after CEO Elon Musk challenged the United Auto Workers union to try and organize his company's assembly plant in Fremont, California.

Sweetgreen (SG) soared around 20% in premarket trading after the salad chain reported strong sales growth in its first quarterly report since going public in November. The company also posted widening losses.

Broadcom (AVGO) rose more than 3% premarket after Broadcom beat expectations for its fiscal first quarter. The company reported adjusted earnings of $8.39 per share. The firm's second-quarter revenue guidance also came in above expectations.

Best Buy (BBY) dipped 2% in early morning trading after Raymond James downgraded Best Buy to market perform from outperform. "We are placing our stock recommendation in 'sleep mode' for now," Raymond James said.


A 105,000-square-foot Los Angeles megamansion that was listed for $295 million sold at a bankruptcy auction for $141 million, ending a 10-year saga of soaring debt and failed dreams. The price still makes the property, known as "The One," the third-most expensive home ever sold in Los Angeles. (CNBC)

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