**__ Diplomatt’s Daily Digest – March 24, 2022__**
Good morning and happy Thursday, everyone! Stock futures rose in early morning trading as investors tried to recover from declines in the previous session. The moves come as NATO leaders meet in Brussels to find ways to put more pressure on Russia, as Ukraine appears to be retaking ground in the war. Oil prices also declined slightly, with U.S. crude trading 0.5% lower at $114.35 per barrel. The major averages took a breather Wednesday, as higher oil and commodities prices and the likelihood of greater interest rate hikes have investors uncertain about the economic outlook later this year. Across the pond, European stocks traded slightly higher with regional investors keeping a close eye on developments in Ukraine, and key meetings of NATO, E.U., and G-7 leaders in Brussels.
Quote of the week: “People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”- Rob Siltanen
• The new omicron variant BA.2 is spreading rapidly in China as the country is facing its worst Covid-19 outbreak since 2020. This is something to keep an eye on as this variant will likely make its way to the U.S if it is not here already.
• Electric heavy-truck startup Nikola announced that it has begun producing the battery-powered version of its electric Tre semi-truck at its factory in Coolidge, Arizona, beating rival Tesla’s electric semi-truck to market.
• Alaska Airlines is turning two of its midlife Boeing 737-800s into cargo planes, a bet that the pandemic boom in air freight will continue to generate revenue even after more passengers return to travel.
• Shares of GameStop and AMC, two companies beloved by traders on Reddit and other social media platforms, are surging again.
• Moderna hopes to get the green light to administer a pediatric, low-dose COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 6 months to under 6 years of age.
• North Korea has fired what is believed to be its first intercontinental ballistic missile in more than four years as Western leaders gathered in Brussels for a security summit.
• Elon Musk announced that Tesla will make two new paint colors available through its new “world’s most advanced paint shop” at Gigafactory Berlin.
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