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What to Watch Today: Dow Futures Cut Sharp Losses as $130 Crude Comes a Bit Off the Boil

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BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures on Monday cut more than half earlier declines, which saw Dow futures down more than 500 points at premarket lows. U.S. oil also came off Sunday's highs, which sent crude prices briefly over $130 per barrel. Russia claimed it would stop attacking four Ukrainian cities, including Kyiv, to allow civilian evacuations. Ukraine said Moscow is seeking to manipulate the cease-fire. (CNBC)

The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all declined Friday and for the week. The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq were both in corrections, with the Nasdaq less 3 percentage points away from a bear market, as defined by drops of 20% or more from recent highs. Investors also sold bonds Monday, sending the 10-year Treasury yield up to around 1.79%. (CNBC)

A third round of talks between Russia and Ukraine to end fighting is set for Monday as a higher-level meeting between Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba has been agreed upon for Thursday in Antalya, Turkey, according to Turkey's foreign minister. (AP)

Russian forces continued to pummel some Ukrainian cities with rockets even after its cease-fire in evacuation corridors. In a move that would further pressure Russia, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday on CNN that the U.S. and its allies are considering banning Russian oil and natural gas imports.

U.S. oil prices backed off Sunday night's nearly 14-year highs, trading Monday at a still-elevated level of roughly $118 per barrel. Traders are driving up crude on concerns about supply disruptions stemming from Russia's invasion of Ukraine, now well into its second week. The U.S. average for a gallon of gasoline topped $4 on Sunday, according to AAA, the highest since July 2008, not adjusted for inflation. (CNBC)

Spot gold topped $2,000 per ounce for the first time in 1½ years early Monday, before pulling back under that level, as investors rushed into the precious metal, which is viewed as a haven in times of geopolitical turmoil and as an inflation hedge. Gold futures approached $2,000 on Monday but have yet to breach that level. (CNBC)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

Shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (BBBY) more than doubled in Monday's premarket after GameStop Chairman Ryan Cohen revealed a nearly 10% stake in the retailer, through his investment company RC Ventures. Cohen, co-founder of online pet retailer Chewy, wrote in a letter to Bed Bath & Beyond he believes it should consider strategic alternatives, including separating Buybuy Baby and a full sale of the company. (CNBC)

* Kohl's plans smaller shops, wants Sephora to hit $2 billion in sales as it faces activist pressure (CNBC)

Uber (UBER) boosted its first-quarter 2022 financial outlook on Monday, citing a faster-than-expected rebound from omicron coronavirus headwinds. The company's stock was up about 3% in pre-market trading. Shares of competitor Lyft (LYFT) were also up more than 3% in premarket trading. (CNBC)

In his annual letter to shareholders released about one week ago, Warren Buffett complained he could "find little that excites us" in the equity markets. However a new SEC filing from Friday night revealed that Berkshire Hathaway is very excited about Occidental Petroleum. Berkshire owns 91.2 million common shares of the oil giant — worth $5.1 billion as of Friday's close. (CNBC)

Meanwhile, investor Carl Icahn has sold the last of what was once a 10% stake in Occidental, The Wall Street Journal reported. The stock, which gained 18% on Friday and 45% last week, was up another nearly 7% in Monday's premarket.

A "major overhang" on Tesla's stock has been removed after German authorities announced Friday that the U.S. electric-auto maker could start production at a new factory in Berlin, according to Wedbush analyst Dan Ives, a well-known Tesla bull. The stock rose roughly 1% in Monday's premarket. (CNBC)

STOCKS TO WATCH

Oil stocks rose broadly after energy prices surged. Shares of Chevron and Exxon Mobil each rose more than 1%, while Phillips 66 climbed 3.4%. ConocoPhillips rose nearly 2%, while Baker Hughes jumped 4%.

Archer-Daniels-Midland jumped about 4% premarket as crop prices jumped amid supply concerns due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

Visa (V) and Mastercard (MA) dipped in premarket trading after both companies announced over the weekend that they were suspending operations in Russia. Visa's stock shed 2.2%, while Mastercard was down 1.7%.

Netflix (NFLX) is pulling its service in Russia following the country's invasion of Ukraine, the company confirmed to CNBC. The stock dropped aroud 1% in Monday's premarket.

Shares of Whiting Petroleum (WLL) and Oasis Petroleum (OAS) moved higher in premarket trading after the companies announced a merger agreement. The new company, with an estimated enterprise value of about $6 billion, will be 53% owned by Whiting shareholders and 47% by Oasis shareholders, according to a press release.

Citigroup dropped 2.8% in premarket trading, underperforming its peers, after receiving a downgrade from Jefferies. The firm said Citi appeared unlikely to hit the financial targets detailed at an investor conference last week.

WATERCOOLER

"The Batman" swooped into theaters this weekend, tallying the second-highest domestic opening of the pandemic era. The Warner Bros.′ film generated $128.5 million in ticket sales over the weekend, coming in above the studio's expectations of $110 million. (CNBC)

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