5 things to know before the stock market opens on Friday, March 25

Here are the most important news, trends and analysis investors need to start their trading day:

1. Wall Street looks to end a volatile week on a high note

2. The EU reaches a gas agreement with the US to reduce dependence on Russia

US and EU on Friday Announced a new partnership to reduce Europe’s dependence on Russian energy, the start of a year-long effort to further isolate Moscow after its invasion of Ukraine. Under the plan, the US and other nations will increase liquefied natural gas exports to Europe by 15 billion cubic meters this year. Even larger shipments will be delivered in the future. Energy is a key source of income and political influence for the Kremlin, supplying the EU about 40% of its LNG through Russian gas pipelines, several of which pass through Ukraine.

3. Biden heads to Poland to address the human cost of the Ukraine war

After a day of NATO and G-7 summits in Brussels, President Joe Biden is scheduled to travel to Poland on Friday, the second stage of your emergency trip to Europe, a month after Russia unprovoked attack on Ukraine. The president will meet with his Polish counterpart on the worsening humanitarian crisis as more than 3.7 million refugees have fled war-torn Ukraine, most of them crossing the border into Poland. On Thursday, Biden announced that the US is prepared to commit more than $1 billion in humanitarian assistance to help Ukrainians still inside the country and those who have become refugees.

4. Russia considers selling energy for bitcoin to mitigate sanctions

Russia is considering accepting bitcoin as payment for its oil and natural gas exports, as Moscow finds itself increasingly isolated under ever-tightening sanctions from Western countries for its aggression against Ukraine. The chairman of Russia’s legislative committee on energy said in translated remarks Thursday that alternative ways of paying for energy when dealing with “friendly” countries like China or Turkey could include the buyer’s national fiat currency and bitcoin. Commodities traded around the world are heavily traded in US dollars or euros.

5. The EU targets Big Tech with rules aimed at curbing its power

The European Union has agreed to landmark new antitrust rules that could dramatically reshape the way US tech giants like parent Facebook Metaplatforms, Apple, Amazon and Alphabet Google Drive: Do business on the block. A key goal of the reforms is to prevent big tech from abusing their market position to hurt smaller rivals. So-called gatekeepers who violate the rules would face potential fines of up to 10% of their global income. While a final version of the legislation has yet to be officially adopted, it could come into force as early as October.

— CNBC reporters sammeredith, cristina wilkie, MacKenzie Sigalos and Ryan Browne, as well as The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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