By Devik Jain
(Reuters) – U.S. stock indexes were set for a weaker open on Friday, a day after staging a dramatic late rally, as developments around a raging war in Ukraine kept investors on edge.
The United States, the European Union and some other countries responded to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine with a wave of sanctions on Thursday, impeding Russia’s ability to do business in major currencies.
The coordinated response, softer than many investors had feared, helped ease risk-off sentiment in the previous session, with Wall Street ending sharply higher, led by a 3% gain in the Nasdaq following a weak open.
“It is too early to assume that the sanctions will force Russia to back down, or that any other nation will not get involved,” said Charalambos Pissouros, head of research at JFD Group.
“Thus, we prefer to treat yesterday’s recovery in risk assets as a corrective rebound and we see decent chances for another leg south.”
Morgan Stanley and Microsoft Corp fell around 1% each in premarket trading to lead losses among big banks and megacap growth names.
Oil majors Exxon Mobil and Chevron Corp slipped about 0.7%, tracking crude prices. [O/R]
Defense stocks Lockheed Martin Corp, Northrop Grumman Corp and L3Harris Technologies Inc all rose more than 1%.
At 06:19 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were down 286 points, or 0.86%, S&P 500 e-minis were down 38 points, or 0.89%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were down 113.25 points, or 0.81%.
All the major indexes were tracking their third straight weekly declines as escalating geopolitical tensions posed a double whammy for investors already worried about aggressive policy tightening plans by the Federal Reserve.
Readings on core PCE price index, durable goods and consumer sentiment data for January are due later in the day.
(Reporting by Devik Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D’Silva)