Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
1. Stocks set to open lower on Wall Street but way off overnight lows
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, US, February 18, 2022.
Brendan McDermid | Reuters
US stock futures on Tuesday erased much of sharp overnight losses as investors tried to figure out whether Russia will invade Ukraine. One day after Moscow recognized the independence of breakaway regions Luhansk and Donetsk, Ukraine’s president said Tuesday his country wants peace but will not give up its land. The UK on Tuesday announced targeted economic sanctions against five Russian banks and three wealthy individuals. US sanctions are also expected.
2. UK hits Russia with sanctions ahead of expected US punitive measures
View of pipe systems and shut-off devices at the gas receiving station of the Nord Stream 2 Baltic Sea pipeline. Originally, the pipeline for natural gas from Russia was to go into operation at the end of 2019.
Stefan Sauer | picture alliance | Getty Images
Germany said Tuesday it’ll halt certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline designed to bring natural gas from Russia directly to Europe. Germany’s chancellor said his country will not accept recognition of the two self-proclaimed, pro-Russian separatist regions in Ukraine.
- Addressing lawmakers Tuesday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the first tranche of sanctions would target Rossiya, IS Bank, General Bank, Promsvyazbank and the Black Sea Bank.
- The United Nations Security Council held a rare emergency meeting Monday night in New York City to address the escalating Russia-Ukraine crisis.
- America’s ambassador to the UN said the US would unveil new sanctions against Russia on Tuesday, urging member states to also impose severe consequences on Moscow.
3. Russia recognizes independence of two pro-Moscow regions in Ukraine
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin addresses the nation on the recognition of independence of the Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics on February 21, 2022.
Alexei Nikolsky | Tass | Getty Images
Russia announced Tuesday that its recognition of independence for areas in eastern Ukraine extends to territory currently held by Ukrainian forces, further raising concerns about a full-fledged invasion. Russian President Vladimir Putin has long sought to restore influence over former Soviet republics, with Ukraine central to his ambitions. Pro-Moscow Luhansk and Donetsk have been engaged in conflict with Ukraine since 2014 when Russia annexed Crimea. Ukraine said that 14,000 people have been killed in the eight-year struggle.
4. Macy’s jumped, Home Depot slumped after issuing quarterly results
Macy’s flagship store in Herald Square in New York, Dec. 23, 2021.
Scott Mlyn | CNBC
Macy’s shares surged roughly 6% in the premarket after the department store chain on Tuesday reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings and sales that topped estimates. Macy’s also said a strategic review has prompted the retailer to accelerate its turnaround plans, rejecting calls from activist Jana Partners for it to split its e-commerce operations.
A shopper leaves a Home Depot with merchandise that she purchased on August 17, 2021 in Alexandria, Virginia.
Alex Wong | Getty Images
Dow stock Home Depot fell 2% in premarket trading despite the home improvement retailer on Tuesday delivering better-than-expected earnings and revenue for its fiscal fourth quarter. Home Depot expects earnings per share growth to be in the low single digits and sales growth to be “slightly positive” in the coming fiscal year.
5. Tesla CEO Elon Musk accuses SEC of leaking information from federal probe
Entrepreneur and business magnate Elon Musk gestures during a visit at the Tesla Gigafactory plant under construction, on August 13, 2021 in Gruenheide near Berlin, eastern Germany.
Patrick Pleul | AFP | Getty Images
Tesla CEO Elon Musk, via his attorney, accused the Securities and Exchange Commission of leaking information about a federal investigation in order to retaliate against him for public criticism of the federal financial regulator. Monday’s letter to a federal judge comes four days after Musk initially alleged the SEC was engaged in harassment by continually investigating him. The conflict between Musk and the SEC began in September 2018 when the commission charged Musk with making “false and misleading” statements to investors over a tweet saying the company secured funding for a take-private deal.
– 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.