10 things before the opening bell
Good morning. Today we're covering Russian oil — and why one Ukrainian official says traders who are buying it are participating in "blood money" transactions.
Let's get started.
1. Ukraine wants energy traders to stop dealing in Russian oil. Wartime sanctions haven't fully stopped the flow of energy exports out of Russia — and that's unacceptable to President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. The government has asked some of the biggest commodity traders to stop moving Russian oil.
"The fact is that traders are trading and they are helping Russia to receive this blood money," one of Zelenskyy's advisers, Oleg Ustenko, told the Financial Times Sunday.
Revenue from oil deals continues to flow and the Ukrainian government says they are being used to fund Putin's war machine.
According to one report, between the outbreak of the war and the end of March, four major commodity traders moved 33 tankers carrying about 20 million barrels of Russian crude and oil products. Ustenko said the profits were financing genocide.
Last week, Russian oil exports clocked in at the highest volume since the invasion began — roughly 4 million barrels per day — suggesting that Russia's been able to shrug off at least some of the sanctions.
Notably, however, cargoes carrying Russian oil have been traveling much longer distances than usual to reach buyers. As Moscow's usual export
Reports today show Russia has logged its largest current account surplus in around three decades in the first quarter of this year, as revenue from the country's energy exports surged while imports plunged.
In other news:
2. US futures have turned positive, while European stocks are under pressure. War in Ukraine is intensifying and investors are nervous about today's consumer inflation figures. Here's the latest.
3. Earnings on deck: Biomerica Inc, Manhattan Bridge Capital, and Carmax Inc, all reporting.
4. Goldman Sachs said these deeply oversold stocks could have an upside of at least 50% over the next year. The bank expects all of them to rise considerably even as major stock indexes bring minimal returns. See the list of 18 picks.
5. Bank of America said oil could be capped at $120 a barrel this summer as the release of global reserves limits price spikes. China's lockdowns of Shanghai and other areas during a new virus outbreak should also curb oil demand, they said. This is lower than the bank's previous $150 peak-price prediction.
6. This college dropout bought bitcoin at $6,700 and ether at $173 and is now a full-time crypto influencer. In 2020, Natalie Arabian realized her biology degree wouldn't pay as lucratively as her crypto investments. Now, she aims to inspire more women to get involved in the finance and digital asset space.
7. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway announced $22 billion of investments last quarter. That marks a huge increase in spending for the legendary firm. It plowed $7 billion into Occidental stock, spent over $3 billion on HP shares, and more. Dig into the rest of Buffett's big moves.
8. An investing chief overseeing $1.2 billion laid out how ethereum's merge could trigger a bull rally with two simultaneous halvings. Bitwise's Matt Hougan drew comparisons between bitcoin and ether — then broke down why the event could bring 12% returns to yield-starved investors.
9. These cheap stocks look like second-quarter bargains, according to Morningstar. Analysts at the firm identified 33 stocks that have become undervalued due to investors' fears about inflation, rising interest rates, and Ukraine. See their investing recommendations.
10. Experts are torn on how the economic recovery is going. While Fed Chair Jerome Powell believes inflation inflation can be tamed without sparking a downturn, others fear the war in Ukraine and the Fed's late response have doomed the US to a new crisis.
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