Investors Digest Inflation Report, Stocks Hike

U.S. stocks moved slightly higher Wednesday after a key inflation report showed a historic gain but largely matched expectations.

The Dow Jones Industrials finished the day higher by 38.3 points to 36,290.32

The S&P 500 gained 13.28 points to 4,726.35

The NASDAQ Composite stayed above water 34.94 points to 15,188.39.

Stocks tied to economic growth were some of the stronger performers, with chemical company Mosaic rising 3.8% and Freeport-McMoRan jumping 5%. Software giant Microsoft and Google-parent Alphabet each added about 1%, while Tesla gained nearly 4%.

On the downside, Biogen shares tumbled 6.7% following news that Medicare will only cover the cost for the company’s Alzheimer’s drug Aduhelm for patients with early-stage symptoms who are enrolled in clinical trials. Health care was a weak spot for the market overall, with Merck and Amgen both weighing on the Dow.

The moves come after the December reading for the consumer price index, a gauge of prices across a broad spectrum of goods, showed a gain of 7% year over year. That is the biggest jump since 1982, but was in-line with expectations from economists surveyed by Dow Jones.

The monthly increase was slightly hotter than expected.

However, interest rates already moved sharply higher in the first week of 2022, sparking a selloff in tech stocks. That suggests the hot inflation report, and future actions by the Federal Reserve, may be at least partially priced in to the market.

Prices for 10-year Treasurys gained some ground, lowering yields to 1.73% from Tuesday’s 1.75%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.

Oil prices picked up $1.46 to $82.68 U.S. a barrel.

Gold prices grew $8.40 to $1,826.90 U.S. an ounce.