Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
1. Stock futures fall after Wall Street snaps a three-day losing streak
Traders on the floor of the NYSE, February 15, 2022.
2. Economic calendar: January retail sales, Fed meeting minutes
Shoppers carry bags inside the Westfield San Francisco Center mall in San Francisco, California, U.S., Wednesday, Dec. 22, 2021.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Government retail sales data for January, due out at 8:30 a.m. ET, is expected to show a 2.1% increase from December’s 1.9% decline. Traders will take a look at the sales report to see how soaring inflation could affect Americans’ spending habits. Last week, concerns about high prices caused consumer confidence to plummet to more than 10 years in early February.
- The investment community is hoping to hear more about what the Fed plans to do to fight inflation when the central bank’s January meeting minutes are released at 2 p.m. ET. Markets expect the central bank to raise interest rates seven times this year, starting next month.
3. Biden says Russian invasion of Ukraine still ‘very possible’
In this photo taken from a video provided by the Russian Defense Ministry’s press service on Tuesday, February 15, 2022, Russian army tanks return to their permanent base after exercises in Russia.
Russian Defense Ministry press service via AP
Although NATO claims to see no signs of withdrawal on the Ukrainian border, Russia said on Wednesday it was returning more troops and weapons to their bases. Moscow’s announcement of a withdrawal on Tuesday sparked skepticism around the world. President Joe Biden has warned that “an invasion remains entirely possible”, while urging Russia to choose a diplomatic path to resolve the conflict.
- Moscow, which has repeatedly insisted it has no plans to invade Ukraine, demands, among other things, that the former Soviet republic never be allowed to join NATO. The United States and NATO have said that such a request from Russia cannot be met.
4. Moderna CEO sees 80% chance Covid will evolve as less virulent
Moderna’s sign is seen outside their corporate headquarters in Cambridge, MA on March 11, 2021.
Boston Globe | Getty Images
Moderna CEO Stephane Bancel told CNBC on Wednesday that it was “reasonable” to assume the final stages of the Covid pandemic could be approaching. Bancel said there is an 80% chance that as the omicron variant evolves it will become “less and less virulent”. But he also sees a “20% scenario where we see an upcoming mutation, which is more virulent than omicron.”
- New daily Covid cases in the United States continued to fall, with the latest seven-day average falling 44% to 136,190, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. While new daily US deaths from Covid fell 8% from a week ago, fatalities remained high, averaging 2,264 over the past seven days.
5. ViacomCBS changes its corporate name to Paramount Global
In this photo illustration the Paramount+ (Paramount Plus) logo seen displayed on a smartphone against its website in the background.
Pavlo Gonchar | SOPA Images | Light flare | Getty Images
On the same day, ViacomCBS announced after the bell on Tuesday a corporate name change to Paramount Global. The move, effective Wednesday, brings the company closer to its Paramount+ streaming service and leverages Paramount brand recognition. Paramount Global’s new moniker also comes with new tickers, starting Thursday, including a change in PARAA for VIACA’s Class A shares.
— The Associated Press contributed to this report. Register now for the CNBC Investing Club to follow Jim Cramer’s every stock move. Follow the evolution of the market like a pro on CNBC Pro.