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Oil Prices, China EV Stocks, Nielsen Deal: 3 Things to Watch

By Sam Boughedda

Investing.com – Stocks fell on Monday in volatile up and down trading on continued worries about Russia’s war on Ukraine.

The Federal Reserve is set to meet beginning Tuesday for its two-day meeting, and expectations are that it will cut interest rates by a quarter-point in the first of a series of rate increases this year at it tries to tame inflation.

The effects of Russia’s war on Ukraine on inflation haven’t fully appeared in the data so far, but the Fed will be acting with that uncertainty lingering. Job gains have been strong, but gasoline prices have surged in recent weeks.

Russia’s aggression has sent global markets into tumult, though oil prices have plunged in recent days, retreating back to the $100 a barrel level.

Despite efforts at negotiating, there is little news out of talks for a ceasefire in Ukraine, where people continue to stream over the border of Poland and elsewhere seeking refuge from the fighting.

Here are three things that could affect markets tomorrow:

1. Oil seesaw

Oil prices hit their lowest in two weeks, with U.S. crude briefly breaking the $100 per barrel support, on signs that diplomacy might actually win in the Russia-Ukraine war despite Moscow signaling no commitment to abort its intent to conquer the capital Kyiv.

Reports of new Covid-19 lockdowns in China’s Shenzhen and Jilin areas over ramping Omicron cases also stirred risk aversion among investors, many of whom had thought the pandemic to be over for all intent and purpose.

2. China EV stocks

Stocks and ADRs of Nio (NYSE:NIO), Xpeng (NYSE:XPEV) and Li Auto (NASDAQ:LI) slumped on fears the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission was taking a tough stand against any Chinese company that fails to meet the audit requirements of the Holding Foreign Companies Accountable Act.

The act allows the SEC to delist and ban companies from trading on U.S. exchanges if regulators are unable to review company audits for three straight years.

Nio, XPeng, and Li Auto are not named in the list of five companies the SEC cited last week for not meeting the audit norms, but investors fear the automakers could come in the line of fire.

3. TV wars

Amid the streaming wars, companies that gather data to deliver to television advertisers are in focus. Nielsen Holdings PLC (NYSE:NLSN) shares jumped on Monday on a WSJ report that a consortium of several private equity groups, including Elliott Management Corp, is in advanced discussions to purchase the TV ratings business. Expect more focus on Nielsen shares this week to see if the deal goes through.

–Investing.com staff contributed to this report

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