U.S. Stocks Mostly Higher Amid Optimism About Inflation Data

Stocks have moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday, adding to the gains posted in the previous session. With the upward move, the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 have reached their best intraday levels in almost a month.

In recent trading, the major averages have reached new highs for the session. The Dow is up 172.99 points or 0.5 percent at 33,877.09, the Nasdaq is up 134.38 points or 1.3 percent at 10,877.01 and the S&P 500 is up 33.00 points or 0.8 percent at 3,952.25.

The continued strength on Wall Street may reflect optimism about the highly anticipated consumer price inflation report due to be released on Thursday.

The report is expected to show a slowdown in the annual rate of consumer price growth and could have a significant impact on the outlook for interest rates.

“Stocks are drifting higher as optimism remains intact that a pivotal inflation report will continue to show disinflation trends remain in place,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA.

“For some traders, they feel confident that either we get a soft landing or a not too bad recession,” he added. “It might not be smooth sailing with across the board pricing declines with the December inflation report as core prices from a month ago might edge higher.”

Traders have also looked to continue picking up stocks at relatively reduced levels following the considerable weakness seen last year.

Tech stocks have seen a notable benefit from bargain hunting, with the Nasdaq closing higher for three consecutive sessions.

Sector News

Commercial real estate stocks continue to see substantial strength in afternoon trading, with the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index surging by 2.7 percent to its best intraday level in almost a month.

Significant strength also remains visible among housing stocks, as reflected by the 2.4 percent jump by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index. With the gain, the index has reached a nine-month intraday high.

Transportation stocks have also shown a strong move to the upside on the day, driving the Dow Jones Transportation Average up by 1.8 percent.

Retail, software and chemical stocks are also seeing notable strength, while gold stocks have moved lower despite a modest increase by the price of the precious metal.

Other Markets

In overseas trading, stock markets across the Asia-Pacific region moved mostly higher during trading on Wednesday. Japan’s Nikkei 225 Index shot up by 1.0 percent, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index climbed by 0.5 percent.

The major European markets also moved to the upside on the day. While the German DAX Index jumped by 1.2 percent, the French CAC 40 Index advanced by 0.8 percent and the U.K.’s FTSE 100 Index rose by 0.4 percent.

In the bond market, treasuries are regaining ground following the sharp pullback seen in the previous session. Subsequently, the yield on the benchmark ten-year note, which moves opposite of its price, is down by 4.3 basis points at 3.578 percent.

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