Stock market today: US stocks edge higher despite hot inflation print

US stocks climbed on Thursday, with momentum returning despite a hotter than expected wholesale inflation print serving as one of the last pieces of data that could sway the Federal Reserve at its policy meeting next week.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose 0.1%, signaling a potential bid ahead for its 18th record close this year. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) was up roughly 0.3%, or over 100 points.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^IXIC) also gained 0.3%, coming back after Nvidia (NVDA) and Tesla (TSLA) dragged stocks lower on Wednesday.

February’s producer price index rose 0.6%, higher than an expected increase of 0.3%. Investors were watching whether inflation is cooling fast enough to satisfy Fed policymakers and herald interest-rate cuts. That said, the market shrugged off signs of sticky inflation in Tuesday’s CPI report and stuck to their hopes for a policy pivot come summer.

Meanwhile retail sales increase 0.6%, coming in short of estimates for a rise of 0.8%. Eyes were closely watching Thursday’s data release for clues on the health of the US economy ahead of the central bank’s two-day meeting next week.

In commodities, oil’s revived rally continued to build after the IEA warned that supply would lag this year and US stockpiles shrank. WTI crude futures (CL=F) traded just above $80 per barrel and touched their highest levels since November, while Brent crude futures (BZ=F) pushed toward $85.

On the corporate front, Fisker’s (FSR) shares plunged almost 40% after a Wall Street Journal report that the EV maker is exploring a bankruptcy filing.

Live2 updates

  • Stocks slightly higher despite a hotter than expected inflation print

    Stocks edged up. on Thursday despite a hotter than expected wholesale inflation print.

    The S&P 500 (^GSPC) rose 0.1% while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) rose 0.3%, or over 100 points. The Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) also gained 0.2%, rebounding from yesterday’s losses.

    Nvidia (NVDA) opened lower for a second day in a row. Shares of the chipmaker along with Tesla (TSLA) dragged stocks lower on Wednesday.

    February’s producer price index rose 0.6%, higher than an expected increase of 0.3%. Investors were eyeing the print amid expectations that Fed policymakers will reiterate their intention to cut rates sometime this year after next week’s Fed meeting.

  • Retail sales rebound

    Retail sales rebounded in February after seeing their steepest decline in nearly a year during the month prior.

    Retail sales rose 0.6% in February from the previous month, according to Census Bureau data. Economists had expected a 0.8% increase in spending, according to Bloomberg data. January retail sales previously posted a surprise -1.1% decrease.

    February sales, excluding auto and gas, increased by 0.3%, in line with estimates.