Saturday, July 20, 2024

US stocks rise as investors await latest inflation updates

by BIZ Magazine

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks rose broadly in morning trading on Wall Street Monday as investors prepare for a busy week of updates on inflation.

The S&P 500 rose 0.8% as of 10:26 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 258 points, or 0.8%, to 33,062 and the Nasdaq rose 1.3%.

Small-company stocks outpaced the broader market’s gains in a sign that investors were confident about the economy. The Russell 2000 rose 1.7%.

Retailers and technology stocks were among some of the biggest winners. Amazon rose 1.2% and Apple rose 1%.

Clean energy companies gained ground following the Senate’s approval for Democrats’ big election-year economic package, which includes funding to help fight climate change. First Solar rose 8.8%.

Bond yields fell. The yield on the 10-year Treasury slipped to 2.78% from 2.83% late Friday.

Investors remain focused on inflation and its impact on businesses and consumers, along with the Federal Reserve’s efforts to fight higher prices. The central bank has been aggressively raising interest rates to pump the brakes on economic growth and rein in record-high inflation. The Fed is expected to hike short-term interest rates by another 0.75 percentage points at its next meeting.

Wall Street is worried that the Fed could hit the brakes too hard on the economy and bring on a recession. Updates this week on inflation could provide more clarity on whether the Fed will remain aggressive.

The Labor Department will release its July report for consumer prices on Wednesday, followed by the July report for prices at the wholesale level on Thursday.

This week’s inflation updates follow reports last week showing the employment market remains strong. While that’s good for the economy, it has complicated the job of the Fed, which may be forced to continue with aggressive interest rate hikes intended to cool the economy and soaring inflation.

Investors are still reviewing the latest round of corporate earnings, which could also provide more details on how hard inflation is hitting consumers and businesses. Nvidia fell 5.5% after it warned investors that its second-quarter revenue will fall short of forecasts because of weaker gaming revenue.

Generic drugmaker Viatris rose 8% after beating Wall Street’s second-quarter earnings and revenue forecasts.

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