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Futures Loom As World Awaits Putin’s Ukraine Move; Five Stocks That


Dow Jones futures will open Sunday evening, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq futures. The stock market rally suffered significant damage last week, with the major indexes below key support and starting to move toward their Jan. 24 lows.


Fears that Russia will invade Ukraine are weighing heavily on the market rally, which is already dealing with inflation and other big headwinds. The uncertainty over what Russian President Vladimir Putin will do adds significantly to the volatility.

Belarus said Sunday that its big war games with Russia will be extended beyond today, citing unrest in parts of Eastern Ukraine. Russia had said its troops would return home at the conclusion of the massive drills on Feb. 20. But Russian forces have continued to build up in recent days.

Putin and French President Emmanuel Macron on Sunday agreed to trilateral talks “in the few hours” that would also include German and Ukrainian leadership, according to a French statement.

Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said President Joe Biden is willing to meet with Putin in any format at any time.

Biden said late Friday that he was confident that Putin has decided to invade Ukraine within the next few days. In a later tweet, he explained why the U.S. is proclaiming Russia’s intentions in advance. “We’re calling out Russia’s plans. Not because we want a conflict, but because we are doing everything in our power to remove any reason Russia may give to justify invading Ukraine.”

Cease-fire violations between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists have surged in the past couple of days. Separatist leaders have ordered a full military mobilization and civilian evacuation, claiming Ukraine is close to launching an offensive. Shelling from Russian-held Donetsk and Luhansk areas of Ukraine, killing two Ukrainian soldiers, may be an effort to goad Kyiv into lashing out. Local, pro-Russia media are claiming explosions in rebel-held parts of eastern Ukraine. These events offer a pretext for Russia to stay mobilized and likely to launch a new Ukraine invasion.

The U.S. and Western nations are poised to impose major economic sanctions vs. Russia in the event of a Ukraine invasion. On Saturday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, at a security conference in Munich, urged the West to impose sanctions now.

But setting aside the geopolitics, the stock market rally looks ever weaker. Investors should take a defensive posture with minimal exposure.

Five Stocks Near Buy Points Amid Weak Market

Dow Jones Futures Today

Dow Jones futures open at 6 p.m. ET Sunday, along with S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures. ETFs tracking the Dow Jones, S&P 500 and Nasdaq 100 retreated Friday evening after Biden made his latest comments on the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

The DIA ETF fell 0.4%. SPY sank 0.5% and QQQ 0.6%.

While Dow futures will open Sunday evening as usual, U.S. markets will be closed Monday in observance of the Presidents Day holiday. Other stock markets will be open around the…


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