Here are five things you must know for Thursday, March 1:
1. -- Wall Street Looks at a Tough Start
U.S. stock futures suggested a tough start for Wall Street on Thursday, March 1, following a triple-digit decline for the Dow Jones Industrial Average in the previous trading session.
Contracts tied to the Dow were down 118 points, while those tied to the S&P 500 declined 10.50 points.
Much of the pullback this week continued to stem from testimony on Tuesday, Feb. 27, from newly appointed Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, who will face the Senate Banking Committee on Thursday at 10 a.m. ET.
Powell on Tuesday may have hinted at more rate hikes in 2018 than initially anticipated.
Stocks sunk on Wednesday, Feb. 28, as global investors parsed the potentially hawkish comments from Powell.
The Dow closed down 380 points, or 1.5%. The S&P 500 was down 1.11% and the Nasdaq declined 0.78%.
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2. -- Walmart Raises Minimum Age for Gun Buyers to 21
Walmart Inc. (WMT) said Wednesday it was raising the age limit for purchases of firearms and ammunition to 21, and will implement the change as soon as possible.
The company also said it is removing from its website items "resembling assault-style rifles, including nonlethal airsoft guns and toys."
The retailer, which has 4,761 Walmart stores in the U.S., noted that in 2015 it ended sales of modern sporting rifles, including the AR-15.
"We also do not sell handguns, except in Alaska where we feel we should continue to offer them to our customers. Additionally, we do not sell bump stocks, high-capacity magazines and similar accessories," said the retailer, which was the largest retailer of firearms and ammunition in the U.S. in 2016.
Dick's Sporting Goods Inc. (DKS) earlier Wednesday said it would no longer sell assault-style rifles in its 853 stores and online. Dick's also will halt sales of high-capacity magazines and won't sell guns to anyone under the age of 21, regardless of local law.
Walmart shares fell 0.2% in premarket trading on Thursday.
3. -- Exxon to Exit Some Russian Ventures
Exxon Mobil Corp. (XOM) said it would exit some joint ventures with Russia's Rosneft, citing Western sanctions first imposed in 2014.
Reuters noted how the move was an about-face for Exxon, which had opposed the sanctions over Russia's invasion of Crimea and argued they unfairly penalized U.S. companies while allowing foreign rivals to operate in Russia, the world's largest oil producer.
The joint ventures were reached when U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was Exxon's CEO, Reuters reported.
Exxon's exit from certain projects won't affect the Sakhalin project off the eastern coast of Russia, which currently produces around 200,000 barrels of oil a day, company spokesmen told Reuters.
The stock rose slightly in premarket trading.
4. -- Spotify Files to Go Public
Spotify Technology Inc., the streaming music service, filed Wednesday to go public.
But as Spotify's valuation has surged above $20 billion in private trades, there has been plenty of debate about whether the online music leader will find a way to eliminate its massive operating losses as it keeps battling the likes of Apple Inc. (AAPL) , Amazon.com Inc's (AMZN) and Alphabet Inc.'s (GOOGL) YouTube.
Spotify's lengthy IPO filing suggested those losses weren't nearly as bad as they looked at first glance, according to TheStreet's Eric Jhonsa. The filing also turned up some pretty encouraging user metrics.
But some more worrisome information also was shared. And after taking in both the good and the bad, the question of whether Spotify, valued at $26 billion in some of its most recent trades and pursuing a direct listing that will allow insiders to sell immediately, deserves its private-market multiples is up for debate, Jhonsa wrote.
The company said it expects to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol "SPOT."
5. -- Best Buy to Close Mobile-Phone Stores
Best Buy, which reported earnings on Thursday, said it plans to close all of its 250 mobile-phone stores in the U.S. by the end of May.
The electronics retailer said the cellphone business was no longer as lucrative as it was when the company began opening the small shops in malls across the country. The smaller shops are now more expensive to operate than a big-box store, Best Buy said.
"We began to open (the smaller mobile-phone stores) more than a decade ago, before the iPhone was even launched," CEO Hubert Joly wrote in a letter to employees on Wednesday, The Wall Street Journal reported. "Fast forward to 2018 and the mobile-phone business has matured, margins have compressed and the cost of operations in our Mobile stand-alone stores is higher than in our Big Box stores."
This article has been updated to include earnings from Best Buy and Kohl's.