Stock market today: Dow closes higher as cyclicals advance ahead of inflation data

  • Stock Market News
Stock market today: Dow closes higher as cyclicals advance ahead of inflation data
Credit: © Reuters.

By Yasin Ebrahim -- The Dow closed higher Tuesday, driven by cyclical corners of the market including energy and financial stocks, though investor sentiment remained cautious ahead of the fresh inflation data due Wednesday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 0.29%, or 98 points, the S&P 500 closed flat, and the Nasdaq fell 0.4%.

Energy stocks led the move higher as oil prices racked up gains even as investors continue to fret about a weaker global economy hurting energy demand.

The International Monetary Fund trimmed its forecasting for global real GDP growth to 2.8% for 2023 and 3.0% for 2024.

APA Corporation (NASDAQ: APA ), Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE: DVN ), and Halliburton Company (NYSE: HAL ) were among the biggest gainers in the energy sector.

Financials were also in the ascendency, led by bank stocks ahead of the quarterly earnings season.

JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM ), Citigroup (NYSE: C ), Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC ), and First Republic Bank (NYSE: FRC ) kick off the quarterly earnings season in earnest on Friday.

CarMax (NYSE: KMX ) jumped more than 9% after the car retailer reported fourth-quarter earnings that topped Wall Street estimates despite weakening sales and lower used-car prices. 

Moderna (NASDAQ: MRNA ) fell more than 3% after reporting a final stage study of its experimental influenza vaccine didn't meet the criteria for early success after failing to enroll enough people infected with flu. 

Big tech, meanwhile, was off lows but remained mostly under pressure, with Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT ) down 2% as China and the U.S. weigh up whether regulatory scrutiny on generative artificial intelligence services like ChatGPT is required.

Baidu (NASDAQ: BIDU ) and Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd ADR (NYSE: BABA ), both of which are also rolling out their AI generative services, were lower.

On the deal-making front, Newmont Goldcorp Corp (NYSE: NEM ) tabled an improved and final offer of $19.5 billion for rival gold miner Newcrest Mining (OTC: NCMGF ). The improved bid received some support from Newcrest’s shareholders including top shareholder Allan Gray Australia.

In other news, WW International (NASDAQ: WW ) jumped nearly 60% after Goldman Sachs upgraded the health and wellness company to a Buy from Neutral rating late Monday, citing the potential of international growth.

The gain on Wall Street comes just a day ahead of a key inflation report that is expected to show that price pressures remained sticky in March, potentially adding to expectations for another Fed rate hike next month.

“Following a somewhat robust March employment report, the market is anxiously awaiting tomorrow’s inflation data as the last key indicator of price pressures ahead of the May FOMC meeting,” Stifel said in a note.

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