Investing.com -- The Dow closed just below the flatline Wednesday, as a Google-led surge in big tech helped offset losses in energy and financials after data showing cooling inflation stoked optimism on a Fed pause on rate hikes next month.
The consumer price index rose 0.4% last month, in line with economists’ estimates, but a deeper dive into the data showed a slowing in core services inflation, a key metric for the Fed.
“A slight increase in core inflation with significant deceleration on core services should encourage the Fed to keep the door open for a June hike,” Morgan Stanley said in a note.
Bets on a Fed pause in June jumped to 96% from 79% a day earlier, according to Investing.com’s.
Growing bets on a Fed pause pushed Treasury yields lower, helping rate sensitive sectors including tech rack up gains.
Alphabet rose more than 4% after unveiling a string of new updates including a new folding smartphone and announcing that it would be integrating generative AI into Google search.
The jump in tech helped stem losses in the broader market amid a wobble in energy and financials.
Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE: DVN ), Schlumberger NV (NYSE: SLB ), and Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY ), were among the biggest decliners, with the latter also hurt by quarterly results that fell short of Wall Street estimates.
Financials continued to be held hostage by struggling regional banks as PacWest Bancorp (NASDAQ: PACW ), Comerica (NYSE: CMA ), and (NYSE: LNC ) led losses, while a slide in insurance firm Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE: LNC ) also weighed.
The company forecast bookings to grow more slowly than revenue in the second quarter of the year, and the average daily rental rate would be “slightly lower” than a year earlier.
“We expect shares to remain under pressure until such time as a clear path to meaningful nights reacceleration in the 2H (and into 2024) appears,” Deutsche Bank said in a note.
Electronic Arts Inc (NASDAQ: EA ) fell almost 1% despite the video game maker reporting quarterly revenue that topped estimates as bookings returned to growth on strong demand for its FIFA game franchise.
In Washington, meanwhile, lawmakers are set to continue talks on raising the government's $31.4 trillion debt ceiling after discussions a day earlier yielded little progress. Hopes of immediate breakthrough, however, remain slim as Democrats refuse to accept debt ceiling legislation that includes spending cuts.
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