March inflation report set to dominate headlines
U.S. stock markets look likely to open flat on Tuesday ahead of the release of the U.S. March inflation report, which will be the first to fully cover the fallout from the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the economic sanctions imposed by the Western nations in response.
Analysts polled by FactSet expect that the consumer price index (CPI) rose at an annual rate of 8.4% in March, topping the 7.9% reading reported the prior month and the fastest pace since 1981.
Core CPI, which is excludes volatile food and energy prices, is forecast to have risen 6.6% last month, which would be the highest since August 1982.
On Monday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki that the inflation report is expected to show “extraordinarily elevated” consumer prices, driven in part by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The U.S. Labor Department will publish the report at 8:30 a.m. ET.
As of 5:50 a.m. ET, Dow futures fell 15 points, or 0.04% to 34,204. The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 futures added 23.75 points, or 0.17% to 14,023.75 while S&P 500 futures were unchanged.
Shanghai eases some Covid curbs, crude futures jump
In energy markets, crude futures edged higher early Tuesday after Shanghai, a city of 25 million people, removed some curbs it had implemented to contain a surge in Covid-19 infections.
The Chinese financial hub on Monday classified over 7,000 residential units as lower-risk area after they reported zero new infections for 14 days.
Meanwhile, the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) has told the European Union that it would be almost impossible to replace Russian oil supplies that could be lost due to sanctions imposed on Moscow.
At around 5:50 a.m. ET, U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures climbed $2.68, or 2.84% to $96.97 a barrel. Global Brent crude futures rose $2.92, or 2.97% to $101.4 a barrel.
Veru shares extend rally on promising clinical study of Covid candidate
Veru (NASDAQ: VERU) shares surged in the premarket trading session on Tuesday as Wall Street cheered promising clinical study results for the company’s Covid-19 oral drug candidate sabizabulin.
The biopharmaceutical company announced in a press release on Monday that an interim analysis of a third-stage clinical study showed the drug lowered the risk of death in hospitalized people by 55%.
According to Veru, these patients were at high risk for acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) and had moderate to severe Covid-19 symptoms.
Veru added that sabizabulin was well tolerated by nearly 210 patients involved in the study.
Shares of Veru were marked 11.07% higher to $13.65 apiece in premarket hours. On Monday, the stock skyrocketed 182% to end the regular session at $12.28 a share.