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Wall Street mixed ahead of inflation reports

2024-02-13 HKT 05:38
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  • Investors are eyeing key economic data expected this week. File image: Shutterstock
    Investors are eyeing key economic data expected this week. File image: Shutterstock
The Nasdaq slipped on Monday afternoon after briefly surpassing its record closing high from November 2021, while the Dow rose modestly ahead of two US inflation reports this week that could influence Federal Reserve policy.

The benchmark S&P 500 closed slightly lower but remained just above the 5,000-point level it crossed on Friday.

Traders awaited January's Consumer Price Index (CPI) and Producer Price Index (PPI) this week to gauge prospects for interest rate cuts. This week the market also gets data on industrial production, retail sales and preliminary University of Michigan consumer sentiment.

"The CPI report tomorrow will be just another important data point on where inflation is and that will translate to the pace of when we may see a cut in the Fed funds rate," said Michael Rosen, chief investment officer at Angeles Investments. "No one wants to make a big bet one way or the other."

The Nasdaq lost steam in the afternoon after rising early in the session past its highest closing level hit in November 2021, within a percentage point of its all-time intra-day high of 16,212.

"An inflation number that's really hot might get some investors a bit nervous, but other than that the Fed is going to be in the same mode," said Joe Saluzzi, co-manager of trading at Themis Trading.

Over the past four months, megacaps with greater exposure to artificial intelligence have spearheaded a bull market on Wall Street as other stocks also rose on hopes of imminent rate cuts and an upbeat outlook from businesses.

During the session, Nvidia crossed above Amazon.com in market capitalisation, as the euphoria around AI catapulted the chipmaker to the fourth-most valuable US company, but ended the day behind the online retailer. Nvidia ended the day up 0.16 percent, while Amazon dipped 1.2 percent.

The S&P 500 lost 0.08 percent, to end at 5,022 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.27 percent, to 15,948. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.35 percent, to 38,807.

Among other movers, Diamondback Energy jumped 9.4 percent after announcing a US$26-billion deal to buy the largest privately held oil and gas producer in the Permian basin, Endeavor Energy Partners. (Reuters)

Wall Street mixed ahead of inflation reports