Russian Troops Advance on Kyiv as Talks in Belarus Are on the Table

Stocks gain, adding to yesterday's recovery

U.S. stocks are gaining, along with those in Europe, as officials in Russia and Ukraine affirmed the possibility of holding negotiations in neighboring Belarus. The gains came a day after markets dug out from a deep hole that followed Russia's attack on Ukraine.

Key Takeaways

  • U.S. stocks are gaining, along with those in Europe, as officials in Russia and Ukraine affirmed the possibility of holding negotiations in neighboring Belarus.
  • Oil is falling after reaching $100 yesterday. Other commodities that had spiked after Russia's invasion—wheat, corn, and natural gas—also fell.
  • Volatility as measured by the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, slipped today after spiking in recent days.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average yesterday erased an 800-point loss to end with a slight gain after U.S. President Joe Biden unveiled new sanctions against Russia. The S&P 500 finished the day with a gain of 1.5%, and the Nasdaq added over 3.3%. Despite yesterday's reversal, the major averages are on track for their third negative week in a row. All three averages remain in correction territory, down over 10% from their recent highs. 

European shares, bludgeoned over the past few days, are 3% higher, as measured by the Stoxx 600 index. Volatility as measured by the CBOE Volatility Index, or VIX, slipped today after spiking in recent days.

Oil prices skidded to around $92 per barrel after jumping past $100 yesterday. Other commodities that had soared in the past few days—such as wheat, corn, and natural gas—also fell.

Treasury yields are lower, remaining below 2% as Federal Reserve officials suggested that the central bank was still on track to raise interest rates in March. The price of Bitcoin (BTCUSD) jumped more than 7% and is currently above $38,000, as cryptocurrencies rebounded after a steep sell-off yesterday.

The companies reporting earnings today include EOG Resources, Inc. (EOG). Sempra (SRE) shares surged after the energy company reported earnings.

Later this morning, the Bureau of Economic Analysis will release its latest figures for consumer spending and personal consumption expenditures (PCE). Consumer spending is expected to rise 1.5% in January after dropping 0.6% in December. The core PCE price index is expected to post an annual gain of 5.1% in January, after an annual gain of 5.8% in the previous month.

Personal Consumer Expenditures

U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis

The National Association of Realtors also releases its Pending Home Sales Index for January. In December, pending home sales fell 3.8%, the second straight monthly decline.

Quick Hits: Today's Headlines

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly investigating whether recent stock sales by Tesla, Inc. (TSLA) CEO Elon Musk and his brother Kimbal Musk violated insider-trading rules. Kimbal Musk sold $108 million in Tesla stock one day before the Tesla CEO polled viewers on Twitter asking whether he should sell 10% of his stake in Tesla.

The Department of Justice is suing to block UnitedHealth Group Incorporated's (UNH) plans to buy Change Healthcare Inc. (CHNG). The lawsuit argues the $13 billion deal violates antitrust laws and would reduce competition in markets for commercial insurance and the processing of claims.

Carvana Co. (CVNA) is buying used car auction business Adesa for $2.2 billion. The deal is aimed at boosting online used car sales and adding another revenue stream for Carvana.

Shares of Etsy, Inc. (ETSY) are soaring after the company reported fourth quarter results that topped analyst estimates for sales and earnings. The online marketplace also announced it would increase its seller fees by 30%.

Block, Inc.'s (SQ) stock price jumped after the company topped earnings estimates. The company also forecast improving growth for the rest of the year.

Shares of Beyond Meat, Inc. (BYND) tumbled after a wider-than-expected loss in the fourth quarter. The company reported slowing sales in the quarter, while its outlook for 2022 also fell short of analyst expectations.

The Big Story: Alibaba's Growth Slows

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings Limited (BABA) yesterday reported its slowest quarterly revenue growth since going public in 2014. Shares were down over 6%, before ending the day with a slight loss.

Alibaba did post solid financials that were in line with analyst expectations. Revenue came in at just over $38 billion, while profits and earnings per share (EPS) beat analyst estimates. Alibaba's revenue climbed 10% from a year ago compared to nearly 30% sales growth in the previous quarter, confirming that the company saw a marked slowdown in growth at the end of last year.

A resurgence in COVID-19 cases and a weaker macroeconomic growth outlook in China weighed on consumer spending. Alibaba's stock price has taken a hit after a regulatory crackdown. Shares are down 10% so far this year and are more than 54% lower over the past year.