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Stock Market Today: Dow ekes out gain ahead of key inflation report

Published 2024/03/11, 01:38
Updated 2024/03/11, 23:14
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Investing.com -- The Dow eked out a gain Monday, as investors looked ahead to upcoming inflation data that will likely shape the Federal Reserve's interest rate outlook. 

By 16:00 ET (21:00 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 46 points, or 0.1%, S&P 500 fell 0.1%, and NASDAQ Composite slipped 0.4%.

CPI data awaited for more rate cut cues 

The consumer price index data, due on Tuesday, will be studied carefully for more cues on the path of U.S. interest rates and the economy.

The reading is expected to show some easing in inflation after outsized CPI readings for the past two months, although the annual core figure is still expected to remain well above the Fed’s annual 2% target. 

The data is set to arrive in the wake of a strong employment that forced some market participants to ditch their call for a May rate hike, with June now more likely.

"We now expect the first rate cut to come at the June FOMC meeting. Chair Powell's testimony this week was fairly balanced, however, and seemed consistent with a Chair retaining that option," UBS said in a recent note.

Fed Chair Jerome Powell, as well as several other central bank officials, had signaled last week that they were still seeking more signs that inflation was weakening, before the bank would consider cutting interest rates.

Market watchers will also be looking to Thursday’s retail sales data for February, which is expected to rebound 0.8% after falling the same amount a month earlier.

The economic calendar also features updates on industrial production, consumer sentiment and weekly data on initial jobless claims.

Choice Hotel scraps bid Wyndham Hotels, Boeing woes deepen 

Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH) stock rose 5.6% after the chain terminated its months-long takeover bid for rival Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:WH), up 2.5%, after failing to gather enough support from the target's shareholders.

Choice added that its board had authorized an increase of 5 million shares to its repurchase program. 

Boeing (NYSE:BA) stock fell 3% after the Wall Street Journal reported that the U.S. Justice Department had opened a criminal investigation into a dangerous mid-air fuselage breach in January on one of the planemaker's 737 Max jets operated by Alaska Airlines.

Bally's, Equitrains in deal fever

Standard General made a $15 per share bid to buy the remaining shares it doesn't yet own in casino operator Bally's Corp (NYSE:BALY), sending the latter's share price up 28%. The offer, however, is markedly lower than the $38-a--share bid the hedge made in January to buy the remaining stake.  

 
Equitrans Midstream (NYSE:ETRN) jumped 1.5% after energy company EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT), down nearly 8%, said it had decided to buy back its former pipeline unit in an all-stock deal.

Crypto stocks mixed despite bitcoin hitting fresh record high 

Cryptocurrency-related stocks were mixed as Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ:COIN) ended the day nearly 1% lower, but MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ:MSTR) was sharply higher after Bitcoin (BitfinexUSD) rose to fresh record high.

The new milestone for the popular crypto comes as signs of further regulatory progress that would deepen institutional investor demand in the crypto gathers pace.

The Financial Conduct Authority said Monday that it wouldn’t block requests from domestic-exchanged for crypto-backed exchange-traded notes, or ETNs. The updates comes months after the first bitcoin-spot ETF was approved in the U.S. 

As well as regulatory progress, sentiment on bitcoin has been supported by the upcoming halvening event expected next month. A halvening event halves the block reward that bitcoin miners receive for mining bitcoin.

(Peter Nurse, Ambar Warrick contributed to this article.)

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