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Buffett Deals, Nike Earnings, Oil Demand: 3 Things to Watch

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By Sam Boughedda

Investing.com – Stocks eased off their lows on Monday but still closed down after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the central bank could move faster to raise interest rates and tame inflation.

Powell said the Fed could raise rates at a half-point step instead of the usual quarter of a point. Inflation is running at 40-year highs and the central bank is anxious to get it tamed so it won’t hit the economic recovery.

Oil continued to gain, however, something that has exacerbated inflation, especially since the outbreak of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Reuters reported that Russia's foreign ministry summoned U.S. Ambassador John Sullivan to tell him that remarks by President Joe Biden about his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had pushed bilateral ties to the brink of collapse.

Biden is set to travel to Europe later this week to meet with members of the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to discuss the West’s response to Russia’s attack on Ukraine. EU members are reportedly mulling a ban on Russian oil imports, though the region is more dependent on the source of energy than the U.S., which has already banned it.

Here are three things that could affect markets tomorrow:

1. Berkshire deal machine

Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRKb) is to acquire Alleghany Corporation (NYSE:Y) in a deal worth approximately $11.6 billion, putting an end to a long lull in big deals by the conglomerate, which has $140 billion of cash waiting to be put to use.

Berkshire will pay $848.02 per share in cash for the owner of reinsurer TransRe. People will likely speculate on what else Buffett has in his deal pipeline.

2. Nike earnings

Nike Inc (NYSE:NKE) shares gained 4.9% Monday after the close after it reported earnings that beat analyst expectations for earnings per share and revenue. The company announced earnings per share of 87 cents on revenue of $10.9 billion. Analysts polled by Investing.com anticipated EPS of 71 cents on revenue of $10.63 billion.

Nike’s direct sales rose 17% but its revenue from China, a big source of growth for the athletic apparel maker, fell 5%, to $2.16 billion.

3. Oil prices still in view

European Union countries are meeting Monday ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden’s arrival later this week to take part in a series of summits that aim to harden the West's response to Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine. Oil prices rose 7% on Monday, to more than $110 a barrel after briefly dipping last week below $100.

–Investing.com staff and Reuters contributed to this report.

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