Why Stocks Are Rising After Hotter-Than-Expected CPI Report

Stocks were on track to open higher even though headline inflation ticked higher in February.

Dow Jones Industrial Average futures were up 0.3%. S&P 500 futures were up 0.6%. Nasdaq 100 futures were up 0.8%.

The February consumer price index rose at a 3.2% annual rate, compared to economists’ expectations at 3.1%. Headline inflation was up 0.4% on a month-over-month basis, matching expectations.

The analysts at Bespoke Investment group note that stock futures turned higher likely because inflation was lower if you exclude food, energy, and shelter costs.

“We’ll see how things shake out as the market digests the data,” they write. “The biggest thing to keep in mind is that even if the hotter data pushes out the timetable for rate cuts, the Fed still isn’t hiking.”