Wall Street set to rebound as U.S. and its Western allies hit Russia with sanctions


Stock futures soar

U.S. stock markets look set for a positive open on Wednesday, a day after Washington and its Western allies slapped Moscow with sanctions following Vladimir Putin’s decision to deploy troops into Ukraine.

President Joe Biden announced what he described as the “first tranche” of sanctions against Moscow and said the current events in Ukraine are “the beginning of a Russian invasion.”

UK Prime Minister also imposed sanctions against Russian banks and high net worth individuals while Germany has stopped the progression of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline project.

On Tuesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 482.57 points, or 1.42%, to close at 33,596.61. The S&P 500 lost 44.11 points, or 1.01% to finish at 4,304.68 and officially entered correction territory. The Nasdaq Composite ended at 13,381.52, down 166.55 points, or 1.23%.

As of 6:35 a.m. ET, futures tied to the Dow rose 180 points, or 0.54% to 33,777. S&P 500 futures jumped 28 points, or 0.65% to 4,332.7 while Nasdaq 100 futures gained 140 points, or 1.01% to 14,101.6.

Crude futures stabilize; Russia-Ukraine conflict and Iran talks in focus

Meanwhile, crude futures stabilized early Wednesday as traders digested the new set of sanctions the U.S. and its allies imposed on Russia for launching an invasion of Ukraine.

In the meantime, talks on reviving the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and lift oil sanctions on Tehran are nearing conclusion, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing a Russian envoy.

The Biden administration considers a deal restoring Iran’s nuclear program as vital to ensuring in the Middle East, allowing the U.S. to focus on Russia and China.

Analysts widely expect the administration to lift sanctions on Iranian oil exports once Tehran reaches a deal with world powers.

As of 6:35 a.m. ET, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 46 cents, or 0.5% to $91.45 a barrel. Global Brent crude futures were at $93.46, down 39 cents, or 0.42% a barrel.

Virgin Galactic shares jump on plans to relaunch commercial flights

Shares of Virgin Galactic (NYSE: SPCE) are popping after CEO Michael Colglazier said late Tuesday that the company is still on track and on schedule to launch commercial service later this year.

Colglazier said in press release that Virgin Galactic plans to have its “first 1,000 customers on board at the start of commercial service later this year, providing an incredibly strong foundation as we begin regular operations and scale our fleet.”

Ticket prices for the 90-minute spaceflight will cost $450,000 per seat, including a $150,000 deposit.

Separately, the company reported a loss of 32 cents per share on revenue of $141,000 for its fiscal fourth-quarter. Analysts expected the company to post a loss of 35 cents per share on revenue of $300,000.

Virgin Galactic stock was up 31 cents, or 3.96% to $8.13 per share.