**__ Diplomatt’s Daily Digest – March 1, 2022__**
Good morning, happy March, and a very happy Tuesday, everyone! U.S. stock futures started March negative, falling Tuesday as investors continue to monitor the fighting between Russia and Ukraine. The decline in index futures came as satellite cameras captured a convoy of Russian military vehicles apparently on its way to Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital. As futures fell, energy prices rose, with West Texas Intermediate oil up 3.3% to $98.87 a barrel and Brent crude climbing 3.8% to $101.68. Natural gas was up 2.2% as well. Meanwhile, the central bank of Russia more than doubled its key interest rate on Monday, as the ruble plummeted after heavy sanctions were imposed on Moscow by the West. Investors are also gearing up to hear from Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell in his semiannual hearing at House Committee on Financial Services, which begins on Wednesday.
Quote of the week: “War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good.” -Jimmy Carter.
• Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has prompted a fast-growing list of companies to shun Moscow, with firms scrambling to cut ties as foreign governments ratchet up punitive economic sanctions.
• Payment and credit card giants Visa and Mastercard have blocked financial institutions from their networks in response to sanctions targeting Russia after its invasion of Ukraine.
• A shipment of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite-internet dishes arrived in Ukraine on Monday, less than 48 hours after CEO Elon Musk announced the company would send support, according to a top official in the nation’s government.
• Russia appears to be advancing in its invasion of Ukraine with satellite imagery indicating that a huge convoy — some 40 miles or 65 kilometers long — of Russian military vehicles is heading toward Ukraine’s capital Kyiv.
• Target on Tuesday said sales rose 9% in the fiscal fourth quarter, as it weathered supply chain challenges over the holidays and built on e-commerce and customer gains during the pandemic.
• Lucid Group is cutting its car production forecast for this year by as much as 40%, sending shares of the electric vehicle start-up tumbling 14% during after-hours trading.
• Zoom issued a weaker-than-expected revenue forecast for the first quarter and full fiscal year. Shares of the video-chat software maker, which posted its fiscal fourth-quarter results, initially sank as much as 13% in extended trading before rebounding.
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