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Tuesday, January 31, 2023

U.S. stocks wobble after December report showed cooling inflation

U.S. stocks wobble after December report showed cooling inflation
© Reuters.

 

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By Liz Moyer

Investing.com — U.S. stocks were wobbling after data showed inflation moderated in December.

At 11:38 ET (16:38 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 107 points or 0.3%, while the S&P 500 was flat, and the NASDAQ Composite was down 0.1%.

Cooling inflation should help calm fears about the Federal Reserve’s aggressive interest rate hikes to combat inflation. The Labor Department’s report said the consumer price index rose 6.5% in December from the year earlier, which was below the 7.1% from November and in line with expectations.

Inflation has been trending lower since June’s peak. Investors are hoping that the encouraging trend would mean the Fed could ease back on its interest rate increases, eventually pausing or reversing course.

The market now expects the Fed will raise rates by a quarter of a percentage point when it meets in February. That would be slower than the rate increases at its past five meetings.

Such optimism is fueling stocks. After stumbling last year, the S&P 500 is up 3% so far this year.

Earnings season kicks off on Friday with reports from the two biggest U.S. banks, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) and Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC). Overall, analysts are expecting S&P 500 companies to report lower profits compared to the same period a year ago. Other banks reporting include Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) and Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC).

Shares of home goods retailer Bed Bath & Beyond Inc (NASDAQ:BBBY) are up 12% again on Thursday despite a looming bankruptcy filing. American Airlines Group (NASDAQ:AAL) stock rose 5.2% after it raised its outlook for fourth quarter profit, based on strong demand for travel during the holiday season.

Oil rose. Crude Oil WTI Futures were up 1.8% to $78.80 a barrel, while Brent Oil Futures were up 1.9% to $84.25 a barrel. Gold Futures were up 0.9% to $1895.

Source: Investing.com

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