**__ Diplomatt’s Daily Digest – March 11, 2022__**
Good morning and happy Friday, everyone! Stock futures rose ahead of Friday’s session following a report that ceasefire talks could be gaining traction between Russia and Ukraine.
Reuters sent a brief report quoting Russian President Vladimir Putin, saying that “certain positive shifts” have occurred in the talks.
The report coincided with a sharp acceleration in stock futures, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average futures up more than 300 points and the Nasdaq 100 jumping some 1.4%. Despite another day of higher energy prices, the moves came as the Russia-Ukraine war showed little signs of letting up. West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, rose 2.5% to $108.66 while international standard Brent crude moved 2.5% higher to $112.08. According to a Bloomberg News report, tensions continued to heat up on the Ukraine situation, with U.S. President Joe Biden expected to call for an end to Russia’s status as a preferred trade partner. Investors received more bad inflation news Thursday. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the consumer price index rose 7.9% in February, even more than expected and the highest level since January 1982. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen offered little consolation on the inflation front, telling CNBC that she expects price increases to be a fact of life in the U.S. for another year. The markets have fluctuated in recent weeks as investors weigh the fallout of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine.
Quote of the week: “We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other’s children.” -Jimmy Carter.
• Russian President Vladimir Putin says progress has been made in talks between the Kremlin and Ukraine, according to reports, without providing any further details.
• The Senate passed a $1.5 trillion funding bill Thursday night to keep the government running through September and bolster humanitarian and military efforts in Ukraine, with nearly $14 billion going earmarked for Ukraine.
• Shares of Rivian slipped more than 11% in extended trading after missing estimates for the fourth quarter on the top and bottom lines, while DocuSign sank 18% after issuing weak guidance for the first quarter and fiscal year.
• Electric vehicle maker Rivian plans to use new types of battery cells in its electric trucks, delivery vans, and SUVs, the company said Thursday in a 2021 fourth-quarter shareholder letter. Rivian said it expects to produce 25,000 electric trucks and SUVs this year as the start-up battles through supply chain constraints and internal production snags.
• Regulators in the EU and U.K. have opened antitrust probes into Google and Meta, formerly Facebook, over the tech giants’ 2018 ad deal.
• VPN use in Russia is surging as citizens try to bypass the government’s tightening internet control.
• Moderna’s board of directors approved a golden parachute for CEO Stephane Bancel worth more than $926 million at the end of last year, up from $9.4 million in 2019 before Covid-19 upended the world order.
• The Transportation Security Administration extends a federal requirement that travelers wear masks on airplanes, airports, trains, and buses through April 18.
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