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“If you’re changing the world, you’re working on important things, you’re excited to get up in the morning.” – Larry Page

Every month at about this time, the financial world stops everything to focus on what is often considered the most important jobs report in years.  Today’s employment report looks like an exception, though.  With Fed Chair Powell already telling the markets that March’s meeting will come with a 25 bps rate hike, the Russia Ukraine war intensifying, and commodity prices spiraling out of control, today’s report could be the least important jobs report in years.

Futures are sharply lower this morning following a big sell-off in Europe as war tensions escalate.  The big headline last night was news of Russia attacking and seizing control of Europe’s largest nuclear power plant.  While initial concerns of a nuclear accident have subsided, investors are coming to a realization that the longer this all drags on, the more damaging to the global economy it all becomes. European benchmark indices are currently down over 3%, while US futures are down about 1%.

Read today’s Morning Lineup for a recap of all the major market news and events from around the world, including the latest US and international COVID trends.

Rising commodity prices have been the most direct impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, and crude oil is the most concrete example.  Through this morning, WTI crude oil is up just over 20% on the week, and if these gains hold through the end of the day, it would be just one of five periods where crude rallied more than 20% in a week.  In 1998, it got close to 20% but came up just short. As shown in the chart below, we’d also note that three of the prior four periods where prices spiked occurred during recessions. We’re at the point now where prices at the pump are higher on the way home from work than on the way in.

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