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What to Watch Today: Stocks Set to Drop as Russia-Ukraine Situation Gets Muddy Again

Source: NYSE

BY THE NUMBERS

U.S. stock futures dropped Thursday as NATO accused Russia of adding forces at the Ukraine border not reducing them. Wall Street was also digesting strong earnings from two Dow stocks and mixed economic reports. In a volatile session Wednesday, the Dow and the Nasdaq dipped and the S&P 500 inched higher. (CNBC)

Before the bell Thursday, weekly initial jobless claims rose unexpectedly, January housing starts came below in estimates while permits beat, and the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index for February was light. After the data, the 10-year Treasury yield dipped under 2%. (CNBC)

Walmart (WMT) topped quarterly estimates on earnings and revenue Thursday. The company said it's on track to hit its long-term growth targets, which called for adjusted earnings per share growth in the mid-single digits. Dow stock Walmart rose roughly 2% in the premarket after the release. Walmart said it raised its dividend and plans to $10 billion buybacks. (CNBC)

Cisco Systems (CSCO), also a Dow component, rose roughly 3% in Thursday's premarket, the morning after the networking equipment and software maker reported quarterly earnings and revenue that beat estimates. The company also issued upbeat full-year guidance. (CNBC)

* Investing Club: Cisco Systems defies the doubters with a beat and raise (CNBC)

Nvidia (NVDA) fell around 2.5% in the premarket after issuing late Wednesday a strong outlook that failed to impress an investor base accustomed to rosy guidance from the graphics processor giant. However, the company did report better-than-expected quarterly earnings and revenue. (CNBC)

* Investing Club: Nvidia's great quarter is overshadowed by expectations for stronger guide (CNBC)

DoorDash (DASH) surged about 22% in Thursday's premarket, the morning after it issued upbeat forward guidance along with a 69% jump in full-year revenue. For the quarter, revenue was also a slight beat. DoorDash's per-share quarterly loss, however, was wider than expected. (CNBC)

* Cathie Wood scoops up more than $20 million of Roblox during massive sell-off (CNBC Pro)

IN THE NEWS TODAY

NATO allies accused Russia of misleading the world and disseminating "disinformation" by saying it was returning some troops to bases, charging Moscow has instead added as many as 7,000 more troops near its tense border with Ukraine. (AP)

Ukraine has denied claims by Russian state-controlled media that it launched shells in eastern Ukraine, and accused Moscow-backed rebels of attacking a village in the region. The two countries currently have a cease-fire agreement in place. (CNBC)

California officials are set to unveil Thursday a plan for coexisting with Covid, entering the endemic stage when a virus still exists in the community but becomes manageable as immunity builds. In fact, one influential model estimates that 73% of Americans are, for now, immune to omicron, the dominant variant, and that could rise to 80% by mid-March. (AP)

* CDC wants to give people a break from wearing masks, director says (CNBC)

FAA Administrator Steve Dickson, who headed the agency in the wake of two fatal Boeing 737 Max crashes, has resigned, effective March 31. Dickson's decision came halfway into his five-year term. In an e-mail to staff, he said that after long separations from his family "it is time to devote my full time and attention to them. (CNBC)

* Biden to promote Great Lakes clean up efforts on Ohio trip (Reuters)

U.S. auto safety regulators launched another investigation of Tesla (TSLA), this time tied to complaints that its cars can stop on roads for no apparent reason. Documents posted Thursday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration say the vehicles can unexpectedly brake at highway speeds. (AP)

Amazon (AMZN) has reached a global agreement with Visa (V) to settle a dispute over the credit card giant's fees. The deal means Amazon customers in the U.K. can continue using Visa credit cards. Amazon will also drop a 0.5% surcharge on Visa transactions in Singapore and Australia. (CNBC)

* Activist investor Daniel Loeb sees roughly $1 trillion of untapped value in Amazon (WSJ)
* Hasbro activist wants toy company to spin off Wizards of the Coast unit (WSJ)

STOCKS TO WATCH

AutoNation (AN) earned an adjusted $5.76 per share for the fourth quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $4.96. Revenue was also above estimates, driven by a 55% surge in used vehicle sales. AutoNation shares jumped 3% in premarket trading.

Palantir (PLTR) slid 8% in premarket trading after quarterly earnings fell short of forecasts. Palantir's adjusted profit of 2 cents per share was half of what analysts predicted, although revenue exceeded forecasts.

Tripadvisor (TRIP) tumbled in the premarket after reporting an unexpected quarterly loss and revenue that fell short of analyst forecasts. The travel review site operator said it expects significant improvement in the travel market this year after what it called "unexpected periods of virus resurgence" in 2021.

Fastly (FSLY) plummeted roughly 32% in the premarket after the internet content delivery company gave lower-than-expected 2022 guidance. Fastly reported a narrower-than-expected fourth-quarter loss and revenue that came in above consensus estimates.

Cheesecake Factory (CAKE) jumped 4% in the premarket even though earnings came in below forecasts. A revenue beat was negated by increased input costs, but Cheesecake Factory is planning a price hike in new menus now being printed and said it may lift prices further later this year.

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