Putin’s government officially recognized two separatist regions of eastern Ukraine, and as a response, the United States, the European Union, Britain, Australia, Canada and Japan announced plans to target banks, oligarchs and members of the Russian parliament. Germany also pulled the plug on the Nord stream 2 pipeline.
Russia promised a "strong" and "painful" response to these sanctions: "There should be no doubt: there will be a strong response to the sanctions, not necessarily symmetrical, but well calculated and painful for the American side," assured the Russian Foreign Ministry in a statement.
However, these threats did not faze Wall Street at first, with all three indexes up this morning. Investors were prepared for a more violent backlash. First Trust's chief economist, Brian Wesbury, thinks the White House doesn't necessarily need to go very far in its involvement: "Rightly or wrongly, we think the Biden administration is more concerned with managing its image in the Russia-Ukraine conflict for domestic political purposes - for example, not to appear weak - than with trying to change the outcome of the conflict itself."
On markets, the natural tendency of investors is to be optimistic. Gold has calmed down and the barrel of Brent has not crossed the USD 100 mark. Even the Russian RTS index rebounded yesterday. Well, after losing 20% in three sessions, but it still rebounded.
However, it was announced a few minutes ago that several Government websites in Ukraine have come under a cyberattack from hackers, in all likelihood coming from Russia. These include the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Cabinet of Ministers, and the Ukrainian parliament, the Klymenko Time reports. As a results, Wall Street indexes are down. It looks like today will be another volatile session...
Economic highlights of the day:
There will be no indicator in the US today.
The dollar/euro pair is trading at EUR 0.8822. Gold is trading around USD 1904 Oil remains firm at USD 92.72 for WTI and USD 97.65 for North Sea Brent. Over 10 years, the yield on US debt comes out at 1.94% (+1 point) and the Bund at 0.24% (+4 points). Bitcoin is back at USD 38,650.
* Tesla - The electric carmaker plans to expand production capacity at its Shanghai facility to meet growing export demand, according to a document filed with city officials.
* Lowe’s Companies - The U.S. home improvement chain on Wednesday raised its full-year revenue and profit forecast on strong demand for its tools and building materials. Lowe's shares are up 3.4% in premarket trading.
* Wells Fargo announced Tuesday that U.S. government agencies, including the Department of Labor, are reviewing certain of the bank's 401(k) retirement savings plan transactions.
* Nigeria is suing JP Morgan Chase in a London court on Wednesday, seeking more than $1.7 billion from the bank for its role in the 2011 deal for Shell and Eni to buy Nigeria's OPL 245 offshore oil field.
* Renewed risk appetite, despite Western sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine issue, is supporting cryptocurrency-related stocks.
* Virgin Galactic reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly net loss on Tuesday and announced an improvement in its cash position, helping the stock gain 5% in after-market trading.
* Palo Alto Networks - The cybersecurity company's stock is up 7.2% in pre-market trading after it reported a better-than-expected revenue forecast for this year. JP Morgan also raised its recommendation on the stock to "neutral" from "underweight".
- Anglo American: Berenberg remains Buy with a price target raised from GBp 3500 to GBp 3600 .
- BP Plc: Jefferies confirms his opinion on the stock and remains Neutral. The target price has been raised to GBp 380 from GBp 360.
- Cisco: Argus lifts price target to $70 from $65, maintains buy rating.
- Dechra Pharmaceuticals: Liberum upgrades from sell to hold targeting GBp 4020.
- First Horizon: Wedbush initiated coverage with a recommendation of outperform. PT up 23% to $22.
- Fluor: Baird upgrades to outperform from neutral. PT rises 45 % to $29.
- Intel: Raymond James upgrades to market perform from underperform.
- American Water Work: HSBC raised the recommendation on s Co. to buy from hold. PT up 23% to $182.
- Medtronic: Needham trims price target to $124 from $128, citing 'slower' 2023 growth; buy rating kept.
- Meritor: RBC Capital Markets downgrades to sector perform from outperform. PT up 2.9% to $36.50.
- Molina Healthcare: Morgan Stanley lowers price target to $365 from $397, maintains overweight rating
- Radware: Makor Capital downgrades to hold from overweight. PT up 17% to $36.
- Relx: Goldman Sachs remains Buy with target raised from GBp 2866 to GBp 2892.
- Synthomer: Morgan Stanley upgrades from Underweight to Overweight targeting GBp 335.
- The Home Depot: JPMorgan lowers price target for home depot to $365 from $406, maintains overweight rating