U.S. stock futures edge higher on last day of a difficult quarter

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US stock futures were pointing to a slightly higher start on Thursday to cap a quarter in which Federal Reserve tightening and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have weighed on sentiment.

What’s happening
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On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
-0.19%
fell 65 points, or 0.19%, to 35229, the S&P 500 SPX,
-0.63%
declined 29 points, or 0.63%, to 4602, and the Nasdaq Composite comp,
-1.21%
dropped 177 points, or 1.21%, to 14442.

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Despite a recent winning run, it’s been a rough January-to-March period for the stock market. Heading into the last day of the quarter, the S&P 500 has declined 3% — snapping a seven-quarter streak — and the Nasdaq Composite has retreated 8%.

What’s driving markets

The biggest news on Thursday is coming from the White House, where an order for the release of up to 1 million barrels of oil per day from the strategic petroleum reserve is expected. By contrast, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, including Russia, are expected to stick with their existing plan to boost production by another 400,000 barrels a day.

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Oil futures CL.1,
-5.35%
fell by more than $6 per barrel.

Turkey’s foreign minister, Mevlut Cavusoglu, offered to hold another round of peace talks between Ukraine and Russia, as he said Russian soldiers had not been redeployed away from some areas as promised. Russia shelled Kyiv, Ukraine’s capital.

There was a busy day on the economics calendar on Thursday, heading into Friday’s jobs report. Initial jobless claims, personal income, consumer spending, the PCE price index, and Chicago PMI releases were all on tap.

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Credit: www.marketwatch.com /

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