**__ Diplomatt’s Daily Digest – March 21, 2022__**
Good morning and happy Friday, everyone! U.S. stock futures were lower in early morning trading Monday after the S&P 500′s best week since 2020. Last week, the three major averages notched their best week since November 2020, boosted by growth stocks. After one of the best weeks in years, now the question is will stocks be able to hold those gains? Some good news is that April is historically one of the best months for stocks, so the calendar remains positive for bullish investors. The S&P 500 recouped nearly half of its correction losses last week as investors received highly anticipated clarity from the Federal Reserve, which raised interest rates for the first time since 2018. Investors are also monitoring the war between Russia and Ukraine. Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that if peace talks with Russian leader Vladimir Putin fail, it would mean the start of a third global war. Ukrainian and Russian officials have met intermittently for peace talks, which have failed to progress to key concessions. Ukraine has also rejected an ultimatum to surrender the city of Mariupol to Russian troops. Investors are also evaluating a rise in Covid cases in Europe stemming from an emerging variant. There is plenty to watch, but you know your boy Diplomatt has got you covered.
Quote of the week: “People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”- Rob Siltanen
• More than 90% of Ukrainians believe their country will win the war with Russia. While Russian forces advancing on the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv from the north-east have “stalled,” according to the UK Defense Ministry’s latest intelligence update.
• Ukraine has rejected an ultimatum to surrender its besieged port city of Mariupol to Russian forces.
• China’s aviation authority said Monday that a China Eastern Airlines Boeing 737 passenger plane had crashed with 132 people on board, including 123 passengers and nine crew members.
• Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway has agreed to buy the insurance company Alleghany for $11.6 billion.
• Oil prices jumped even higher on Monday after Russia-Ukraine talks appeared to yield no sign of progress, and markets continued to fret over tight supply — sparking a call by the International Energy Agency to reduce oil demand.
• U.S. health experts are warning an emerging, highly contagious Covid omicron variant, called BA.2, could soon lead to another uptick in domestic coronavirus cases.
• A Rocky Mountain mansion owned by Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich would likely be among the first assets frozen by the U.S. government if he is sanctioned by the White House in response to the war in Ukraine, according to attorneys and real-estate executives.
• Moscow airport furloughs 7,000 staff as sanctions continue to rock the Russian economy.
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