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5 things to know before the stock market opens Thursday

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1. Oil rebounds as Russia-Ukraine talks fail, taking stock futures down

Traders at the NYSE, March 8, 2022.
Source: NYSE

U.S. stock futures fell sharply Thursday. U.S. oil prices rebounded 4% in morning trading as the latest round of Russia-Ukraine talks failed with no progress on a cease-fire and no progress on safe passages for evacuating civilians. With oil and in turn gasoline prices higher, investors will be watching a key inflation report out before the bell. Amazon was a standout in a down premarket, jumping 5% following its after-the-bell announcement of a 20-for-1 stock split and a $10 billion buyback. Bitcoin dropped below $40,000 on Thursday as some of the initial excitement around President Joe Biden‘s executive order on digital assets faded.

2. Pressure on stocks comes after S&P 500’s best day in roughly 21 months

Wall Street, set to open lower Thursday, broke a four-session losing streak Wednesday, with the S&P 500 jumping 2.5% for its best day since June 2020 but it remained in a correction. The Nasdaq surged nearly 3.6%, and the Dow Jones Industrial Average popped 2%. Those gains pulled the Dow out of a correction and the Nasdaq out of a bear market. Oil prices took a sharp leg lower Wednesday afternoon, giving stocks an extra boost. West Texas Intermediate crude, the American benchmark, tumbled more than 12%.

3. Bond yield rise ahead of what’s expected to be more hot inflation data

The 10-year Treasury yield on Thursday rose to around 1.98% ahead of the government’s February consumer price index, scheduled to be released at 8:30 a.m. ET. Consumer inflation is seen hitting a new four-decade year-over-year high of 7.8%. February’s core rate of consumer inflation, excluding food and energy, is expected to advance 6.4% year over year. At 8:30 a.m. ET, the government also releases its weekly look at initial jobless claims.

The latest reads on wholesale inflation and retail sales are out Tuesday and Wednesday — the two days when the Federal Reserve holds its March policy meeting. Central bankers are widely expected to start hiking Covid-era near-zero interest rates next week, the first in a series of rate increases seen this year to fight inflation.

4. Russia bombs a maternity hospital in Ukraine, killing 3 people

A car burns after the destruction of Mariupol children’s hospital as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine continues, in Mariupol, Ukraine, March 9, 2022 in this still image from a handout video obtained by Reuters.
Ukraine Military | via Reuters

Thursday’s failure of cease-fire talks came one day after Russian forces bombed a maternity hospital in the Ukrainian city of Mariupol, killing three people, including one child. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Thursday said without evidence that the hospital had already been captured by Ukrainian “ultra radicals.” Ukraine Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said Russian officials “live in their own reality.”

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris will meet with Polish leaders in Warsaw on Thursday as disagreements simmer over how to arm Ukraine with warplanes to fight Russia’s invasion. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has been pleading for NATO to impose a no-fly zone or provide it with fighter jets.

5. Amazon’s 20-for-1 stock split fuels Dow-30 inclusion speculation

Getty Images; Chris Ratcliff | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Mega-cap tech stocks Amazon and Google parent Alphabet are shedding their mega stock prices with huge splits, fueling speculation about whether they could one day become part of the 30 components that make up the Dow. First came Alphabet in February with its 20-for-1 stock split. Then, late Wednesday, it was Amazon’s 20-for-1 stock split. Apple was added to the Dow in March 2015, nine months after completing a 7-for-1 split. Apple completed another 4-for-1 split in 2020.

— The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. Sign up now for the CNBC Investing Club to follow Jim Cramer’s every stock move. Follow the broader market action like a pro on CNBC Pro.

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