Optimism About Inflation Data Contributes To Rally On Wall Street

Stocks showed a strong move to the upside over the course of the trading session on Wednesday, extending the upward move seen on Tuesday. With the continued advance, the major averages reached their best closing levels in almost a month.

The major averages saw further upside going into the close, ending the day at their highs of the session. The Dow climbed 268.91 points or 0.8 percent to 33,973.01, the Nasdaq surged 189.04 points or 1.8 percent to 10,931.67 and the S&P 500 jumped 50.36 points or 1.3 percent to 3,696.61.

The continued strength on Wall Street partly reflected 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 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 the fourth consecutive session.

Sector News

Interest rate-sensitive commercial real estate stocks moved sharply higher on the day, with the Dow Jones U.S. Real Estate Index soaring by 3.5 percent to its best closing level in well over three months.

Substantial strength was also visible among housing stocks, as reflected by the 2.6 percent spike by the Philadelphia Housing Sector Index. The index surged to a nine-month closing high.

Retail stocks also turned in a strong performance, resulting in a 2.5 percent jump by the Dow Jones U.S. Retail Index.

Software, chemical and transportation stocks also saw considerable strength, moving higher along with most of the other major sectors.

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 regained 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, slid 6.7 basis points to 3.554 percent.

Looking Ahead

The Labor Department’s report on consumer price inflation is likely to be in the spotlight on Thursday, overshadowing a separate report on weekly jobless claims.

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