Salem Radio Network News Thursday, January 20, 2022

Business

Futures extend gains as inflation data meets estimates

By Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) – U.S. stock index futures rose on Wednesday after largely in-line consumer prices data eased some concerns about faster-than-expected interest rate hikes, with big technology stocks leading the gains after a bruising selloff at the start of the year.

Data from the Labor Department showed its consumer price index increased 0.5% last month after rising 0.8% in November, while in the 12 months through December, the CPI surged 7.0% to its highest year-on-year rise in nearly four decades.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the CPI gaining 0.4% in December and shooting up 7.0% on a year-on-year basis.

“I don’t see this disturbing the markets because higher inflation was expected,” said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities.

“The fact that the core rate came in just about in line with expectations suggests that we’re beginning to see some sort of a decline going forward.”

Growth and technology stocks, hit by rising Treasury yields and hawkish commentary from the Federal Reserve, have attempted to climb back this week, with investors watching a variety of metrics to decide whether to buy the rally or brace for more declines.

Mega-cap growth companies including Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc, Microsoft Corp, Meta Platforms Inc and Tesla Inc extended gains and edged up to 1.5% in premarket trading.

Big Tech recovered early losses and led gains on Tuesday after Fed Chair Jerome Powell sounded less hawkish in his testimony to Congress, easing concerns sparked by minutes from the central bank’s December meeting.

At 9:03 a.m. ET, Dow e-minis were up 128 points, or 0.35%, S&P 500 e-minis were up 23.5 points, or 0.5%, and Nasdaq 100 e-minis were up 141.5 points, or 0.89%.

The earnings season will kick off this week, with JPMorgan Chase & Co, Citigroup Inc and Morgan Stanley reporting their quarterly results on Friday, followed by Bank of America Corp on Jan. 19.

Shares of U.S.-listed Chinese companies were set to extend gains from last week, with many outperforming their U.S. counterparts.

Ride-hailing company Didi Global was leading the gains, up 5.3%, on a media report that its Hong Kong IPO, announced in December, could happen in the second quarter of this year along with its withdrawal from the NYSE.

Biogen declined 9.4% after the U.S. government Medicare program said on Tuesday it plans to cover Alzheimer’s treatments but will require patients to be enrolled in a clinical trial, limiting access to the treatment more than many expected.

Jefferies Financial Group dropped 5.3% after missing estimates for its fourth quarter.

(Reporting by Bansari Mayur Kamdar, Shreyashi Sanyal and Anisha Sircar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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