Stock market news today: Stocks recover losses after hot inflation print


US stocks recovered from earlier losses on Thursday to end the session mostly flat after a fresh reading on December inflation came in slightly hotter than economists had expected, raising new questions about the Federal Reserve’s path on interest rates.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) which had been down as much as 0.8% during the session, closed just under the flatline. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) and the Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) hovered slightly above breakeven.

Interest rate sensitive sectors lagged the most, with real estate and utility stocks ending the session lower.

Stocks have struggled this week as investors counted down to the US consumer inflation reading for December. That reading showed a slightly bigger jump than expected, as prices ticked up 0.3% month over month and 3.4% year over year. On a “core” basis, which excludes the volatile food and energy categories, inflation rose 3.9% over the past year.

The print was seen as critical for traders who have been increasingly pricing in the odds of a “soft landing” — where inflation retreats to 2% without an economic downturn — since the last CPI report.

Meanwhile, US spot bitcoin ETFs (full list here) began trading on Thursday after the SEC gave regulatory approval on Wednesday.

Bitcoin (BTC-USD) held above $46,000 per token, while rival ether (ETH-USD) jumped amid bets the second-biggest token is next to get the ETF green light.

Ahead of its quarterly financial update on Friday, Citigroup (C) said it will take more than $3 billion in one-time reserves and expenses in the results. The fourth quarter earnings season is crucial for stocks, given their dismal performance this year so far.

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Stocks recover losses after hotter than expected CPI print

US stocks recovered their losses on Thursday to end the session flat after a fresh reading on December inflation came in slightly hotter than expected, raising new questions about the Federal Reserve’s path on interest rates.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) closed just 3 points lower after inching towards a new high in the prior session. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) gained 15 points, and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) closed flat.

Interest rate sensitive sectors like Real Estate and Utilities lagged during Thursday’s session. Technology clawed its way into green territory. Energy stocks also ended slightly higher.

Cryptocurrency related stocks were lower in afternoon trade, reversing earlier gains on the first day of trading for 11 spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Hertz puts 20,000 EVs up for sale, stock falls

Hertz (HTZ) stock fell as much as 4% on Thursday after the car rental company said it started selling about 20,000 electric vehicles, or about one-third of its EV fleet.

Proceeds from the sale will go towards purchasing gas-powered vehicles “to meet customer demand.”

The company said part of the reason for its pivot away from EVs has to do with maintenance costs.

Hertz said, “expenses related to collision and damage, primarily associated with EVs, remained high” last quarter.

Hertz also said it expects approximately $245 million of depreciation expenses for the fourth quarter of 2023 stemming from the EV sales.

The company had plans to electrify its rental car fleet with an order of 100,000 Tesla (TSLA) Model 3 sedans by 2022, and 65,000 vehicles from Polestar (PSNY) over a five-year span.

On Thursday Hertz said it will implement a series of initiatives to improve the profitability of its remaining EV fleet.

Oil pares gains but settles higher amid Middle East tensions

Oil futures closed off their session highs on Thursday.

West Texas Intermediate (CL=F), which had advanced more than 3%, settled up about 1% at $72.02 per barrel. Brent (BZ=F) futures lost most of their earlier gains to close fractionally higher at $77.04 per barrel.

Prices spiked on Thursday after Iran said it had seized a tanker carrying Iraqi oil in retaliation for the confiscation of the same vessel by the US last year. The incident stoked fears of escalating tensions in the Middle East.

Meanwhile, electricity and gasoline costs in the US ticked up last month, contributing to a hotter-than-expected inflation print for December.

“The energy index rose 0.4% over the month as increases in the electricity index and the gasoline index more than offset a decrease in the natural gas index,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said in its release.

Electricity prices rose 1.3% over the prior month. The gasoline index increased 0.2% in December following a 6% decrease in November. However, the BLS noted that before a seasonal adjustment, gasoline prices actually fell 5.8% last month.

Housing costs still a big contributor to latest CPI rise, but experts point to hopeful signs

Housing costs again had a big impact on last month’s hotter-than-expected inflation reading. But as Yahoo Finance’s Dani Romero highlights, some experts are pointing to hopeful signs in the latest data.

The shelter component of the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased 0.5% in December from the previous month, up from November’s 0.4% monthly gain.

On a year-over-year basis, shelter inflation remained high — up 6.2% over the last year.

The optimistic take? That’s lower than November’s 6.5% year-over-year figure and March’s peak of 8.2%.

Read more here.

Crypto stocks reverse gains amid trading of spot bitcoin ETFs

Cryptocurrency-related stocks were lower in afternoon trade, reversing earlier gains on the first day of trading for 11 spot bitcoin exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

Marathon Digital (MARA), the third-most-popular ticker on Yahoo Finance, slid 14% on Thursday afternoon, despite opening the session in green territory. Riot Platforms (RIOT) fell by as much as 16%.

Coinbase (COIN), a top-five trending ticker on Yahoo Finance, was down more than 5%. Earlier in the session shares spiked more than 5%.

The recently approved ETFs, which readers can track here, allow investors to get exposure to bitcoin (BTC-US) without having to own it.

Bitcoin surged as high as $48,000 on Thursday morning, before declining to just above $46,000 by midday.

Microsoft briefly overtakes Apple as world’s most valuable company

Microsoft (MSFT) briefly topped Apple’s (AAPL) market capitalization during Thursday’s session, making it the most valuable publicly traded company in the world.

As Yahoo Finance’s Dan Howley points out, the software giant took the top spot just after the start of trading, hitting north of $2.8 trillion.

Apple’s market cap was also trading above $2.8 trillion, but was just behind Microsoft. Apple shares have struggled in the first two weeks of the year, as analysts from three banks downgraded the company’s stock amid fears of slowing iPhone demand.

Read more here.

Stocks in the red in afternoon trade

Stocks were lower just around 12:45 p.m. ET on Thursday.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) fell about 0.8% after the benchmark ended Wednesday at its highest close since January 2022, just short of notching a new record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) slid 0.6% and the Nasdaq (^IXIC) led the losses, falling almost 0.9%.

Some interest rate sensitive sectors like Real Estate and Financials, which had performed well in the recent market rally, fell about 1%. Utilities led the losses, falling more than 2%.

Source: Yahoo Finance

Oil surges as Middle East tensions rise

Oil futures spiked on Thursday after Iran seized an oil tanker in the gulf of Oman, fueling worries of escalating tensions between the US and Tehran.

West Texas Intermediate (CL=F) advanced more than 3% during the morning session. Brent (BZ=F) futures also rose more than 2.5%, trading above $78 per barrel.

Iranian military seized the tanker carrying Iraqi oil in retaliation for the confiscation of the same vessel by the US last year, according to Iranian state media.

“The Geopolitical escalation in the Red Seas area has once again reversed the bearish futures tilt,” Dennis Kissler, senior vice president at BOK Financial, said on Thursday.

Thursday’s price action was a change in direction from the the prior session when futures slid more than 1% following the release of weekly storage data. The Energy Information Administration said US crude inventories grew by 1.34 million barrels last week.

Bitcoin ETFs begin trading

The long-awaited trading of spot bitcoin ETFs is underway.

A curated list on Yahoo Finance is tracking all the action on the ETFs. Of the newly issued ETFs, BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin ETF (IBIT) is seeing the highest volume in morning trade.

Bitcoin (BTC-USD) was trading around $46,700 amid the ETF action.

Below is a breakdown of the various fees attached to each ETF.

Hotter than expected inflation not moving Fed rate cut bets

December’s inflation report came in slightly hotter than Wall Street expected, but it’s not moving investor bets that the Fed’s first interest rate cut could come in March.

As of early Thursday morning, markets priced in a roughly 67% chance that the Fed cuts interest rates in March, per the CME FedWatch Tool, largely unchanged from the odds a day prior.

“I don’t think it’s enough to delay cuts,” Bank of America US economist Stephen Juneau told Yahoo Finance Live. “We’re looking for a march cut to kind of kick off the cutting cycle. This kind of keeps the door open. it definitely doesn’t slam the door shut.”

Stocks gain despite hotter than expected inflation print

US stocks gained on Thursday morning despite a fresh reading on December inflation that came in slightly hotter than economists had expected, raising new questions about the Federal Reserve’s path on interest rates.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) added about 0.2% after the benchmark ended Wednesday at its highest close since January 2022, just short of notching a new record. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) added 0.1%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq led the way, gaining 0.3%.

Inflation ticks higher than expected in December

Thursday’s highly anticipated inflation report showed that consumer prices increased slightly more than expected in November.

A quick look at the numbers:

Headline CPI, month over month: 0.3% increase vs. 0.2% expected

Headline CPI, year over year: 3.4% vs. 3.2% expected

“Core” CPI, year over year: 3.9% vs. 3.8% expected

Yahoo Finance’s Josh Schafer has all the details here.

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This article was originally published by a finance.yahoo.com . Read the Original article here. .