• Pimm Fox

Ukraine Declares State of Emergency, Grains Post Big Gains and Lebanon’s Central Bank Chief games

Good morning today is Wednesday February 23, 2022, I’m Pimm Fox. Coming up, Our top stories include: Ukraine Declares State of Emergency, Grains Post Big Gains and Lebanon’s Central Bank Chief Plays Hide and Seek Those stories and more, but first let’s get caught up on markets. S&P 500 futures are up 0.8% - Nasdaq 100 futures show a 1% gain and Dow futures are higher by 0.7%. Oil is $93 a barrel The 10-year US Treasury is 1.97% the Dollar is slightly weaker vs. the euro and unchanged against the Japanese yen and British pound. Bitcoin is $38,000, gold trades at $1897 an ounce At midday in Europe the Stoxx Europe 600 Index is up 0.7% In Asia, markets China’s Shanghai Composite rose nearly 1%, and in Hong Kong the Hang Seng closed up 0.6%. Stocks making moves before the bell include… Lowe's Companies, the shares are up 2% after the home improvement retailer reported fiscal fourth-quarter profit and sales that beat expectations, and provided an upbeat full-year earnings outlook. Shares of Tenneco are soaring more than 90% after agreeing to be acquired by funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Management for $20.00 per share.

The all-cash transaction has an enterprise valuation of more than $7B. The deal price of marks a 100% premium over Tenneco's closing share price on February 22.

Renewable Energy Group shares are up 18% following a report that the biodiesel maker is exploring options including a potential sale after receiving takeover interest. Coming up BookingHoldings, eBay, Lowe’s, Molson Coors Beverage, and and TJXCo release results. Now our top stories… Ukraine declared a state of emergency and began to mobilize reservists, calling on its citizens to immediately leave Russia because of a growing threat of war. Two Kremlin-backed banks and the sons of three of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s associates are among the first targets of US sanctions for what President Joe Biden on Tuesday called “the beginning of a Russian invasion of Ukraine.”

Biden announced the punitive financial measures after Putin ordered his country’s military to “perform peacekeeping functions” in two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine.

German chancellor Olaf Scholz halted the approval of the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which connects Russia directly with Germany.

Wheat and other agricultural commodities surged on the Chicago Board of Trade Tuesday as President Biden confirmed new sanctions against Russia late in the trading session. Wheat for May delivery climbed 6%, while March corn gained 3% and March soybeans settled +2% higher. Corn futures rose in tandem with crude oil prices, which rose in response to rising hostilities at the Russia-Ukraine border. Oil prices affects margins for ethanol producers, which in turn affects the consumption of corn by refineries in the U.S.

Lebanon’s central bank chief, Riad Salameh has gone missing. The banker appeared to have vanished as Lebanese security forces, told to bring him before a judge to face allegations of corruption and misconduct, struggled to locate him.

Salameh is facing investigations on his finances in several European countries, including France, Germany and Switzerland.

In other news: US house prices surged at an annual record in 2021, as buyers raced to secure homes before an interest rates rise.

House prices remained at November’s pace in December, rising 18.8 per cent year on year, according to the S&P Core-Logic Case-Shiller index. The calendar-year’s annual gain of 18.8 per cent is the highest annual increase in 34 years and exceeds 2020’s 10.4 per cent rise.

Volkswagen said it was in advanced talks to raise at more than $20 billion through floating about a quarter of Porsche, which it expects to be valued at between $80bn and $90bn.

Williams Cos. said it sees the Haynesville Shale as a major source of growth from a gathering perspective and as a corridor to transport gas to LNG exporters seeking lower emissions feedgas. Automaker Stellantis reported a surge in annual profit and issued an upbeat forecast. Stellantis shares rose 6%.

The maker of the Jeep and Dodge brands said it expects industry sales to rise by 3% this year in both North America and Europe.

Barclays said its net profit rose in the fourth quarter as it released funds set aside to cover for Covid-19, even as trading moderated following a furious period of activity. Barclays is also expected to announce today that it has frozen over $20 million in share awards to its former chief executive, Jess Staley, as he contests the findings of a regulatory investigation into his relationship with Jeffrey Epstein. Evercore said it plans to buy back up to $1.4 billion in stock, Fresh Del Monte Produce posted a wider-than-expected loss for the fourth quarter and sales that fell slightly short of estimates Wednesday. Wolverine World Wide reported adjusted profit that topped expectations and said the acquisition of the Sweaty Betty apparel brand helped boost ecommerce sales. Wolverine’s other brands include Sperry, Keds, Merrell and Stride Rite

Carrier Global gained nearly 3% after its mid-term outlook impressed investors. Carrier said it sees annual organic sales growth of 6%-8%. Rio Tinto ‘s earnings for 2021 jumped more than 70% as prices of commodities soared and the world’s second-largest miner said it would reward shareholders with its highest-ever dividend.

InterContinental Hotels Group, owner of the Holiday Inn and Crowne Plaza chains, said business was “closer to pre-pandemic levels” in 2021 as rising vaccination rates and eased travel curbs lifted demand. IHG said that revenue per available room had returned to 70 per cent of 2019 levels. Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp., the special-purpose acquisition company that is merging with Trump Media & Technology Group, soared 10% Tuesday, the day former President Donald Trump launched his new social media platform.

Palo Alto Networks shares surged 6% in the extended session Tuesday after the cybersecurity company increased its outlook for the year. Shares of Beauty Health traded 14% higher following the release of fourth-quarter financial results and first-quarter guidance. Mosaic shares fell 6% post-market after Q4 adjusted earnings and revenues came in below of analyst expectations.

Teladoc Health shares fell nearly 8% after-hours as the telemedicine provider posted its fourth-quarter results and issued guidance for the 2022 fiscal year. Range Resources reported strong earnings growth, announced a share buyback, and guided to flat production in 2022. Caesars Entertainment said losses narrowed in the fourth quarter as revenue rose more than 60% from the year-ago period. Toll Brothers said it believes long-term tailwinds will continue to support demand for new homes after the luxury homebuilder posted higher sales and net income in its fiscal first quarter. Cadence Design Systems rose 7% on a bullish outlook following stronger-than-expected fourth-quarter performance. Virgin Galactic Holdings shares rose more than 3% late Tuesday after the space-tourism company reported a narrower quarterly loss and said that demand for its “one of a kind” space flights remains strong. Shares of Rackspace Technology fell nearly 10% after the cloud technology company posted first-quarter guidance below expectations. Airbus plans to use a superjumbo A380 to test hydrogen-powered jet engines.

One of the rarest Kobe Bryant trading cards in existence has sold for US$2 million, making it the highest-priced Bryant sports card and one of the highest-selling basketball cards of all time.

The 1997-98 Metal Universe Precious Metal Gems Emerald Kobe Bryant card is one of just 10 examples in existence, according to PWCC Marketplace, which sold the card through a private deal last week.

At 7AM S&P 500 futures are up 0.8% - Nasdaq 100 futures show a 1% gain and Dow futures are higher by 0.7%. Oil is $93 a barrel The 10-year US Treasury is 1.97% the Dollar is slightly weaker vs. the euro and unchanged against the Japanese yen and British pound. Bitcoin is $38,000, gold trades at $1897 an ounce Coming up Coming up BookingHoldings, eBay, Lowe’s, Molson Coors Beverage, and and TJXCo release results. Thanks for listening and have a successful day.