**__ Diplomatt’s Daily Digest – March 3, 2022__**
Good morning and happy Thursday, everyone! U.S. stock index futures were off just slightly in early trading after the major averages finished the day higher despite escalating tensions between Russia and Ukraine. Markets continued to watch the situation in Ukraine, where fighting entered its second week. Ukrainians maintained the capital city of Kyiv, while heavy shelling hit Maripol and Kharkiv. Thursday’s calendar is a handful of earnings reports, several economic reports, and the second day of Capitol Hill testimony from Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, who will speak to the Senate Banking Committee. The central bank chief seemed to tamp down talk of a half-point interest rate hike at its meeting in two weeks, though he left the door open for more aggressive action. Investors will also be watching jobless claims, expected to total 225,000 last week. Productivity, weekly export sales, and ISM’s latest report on the services industry outlook also are on tap.
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.
• Explosions have rocked Ukraine’s capital Kyiv overnight amid widespread uncertainty over whether Russia will launch a full assault on the capital in the coming hours and days.
• The world’s three largest container shipping lines have all temporarily suspended non-essential bookings to and from Russia, joining a fast-growing list of companies to shun Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.
• Tesla and Elon Musk are facing a trial over the CEO’s 2018 pay package, worth around $2.5 billion when it was granted. Shareholder Richard J. Tornetta sued Musk and the Tesla board after clearing the package. The suit claimed it was excessive and said authorization by the electric car company’s board of directors amounted to a breach of its fiduciary duty.
• Snowflake shares dropped as much as 30% in extended trading on Wednesday after the data-analytics software company reported the slowest revenue growth since at least 2019.
• Apple sent out invitations to the media for an event on March 8, where it’s expected to announce a new low-cost iPhone model. According to media and analyst reports, Apple could announce a new low-cost iPhone with 5G support and a fingerprint reader, as well as a midrange iPad.
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