US stocks edge higher ahead of CPI inflation data

US stocks edged higher on Tuesday as investors bided their time until a key inflation report lands and potentially sheds light on the path of interest rates.

The benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) climbed about 0.4% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) jumped roughly 0.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) added about 0.1%, or roughly 50 points.

Stocks have become marooned ahead of the release of the Consumer Price Index on Wednesday, seen as a pivotal point for a market facing a slower next leg higher after a strong first quarter.

Investors have become increasingly less convinced the Federal Reserve will deliver on the three rate cuts it has projected for this year, given the persistent show of strength in the US economy. That’s intensified the focus on the CPI print for March, with any sign that inflation has begun to cool again seen as an invitation to a June policy shift.

Meanwhile, fading rate-cut hopes have helped push up the 10-year Treasury (^TNX) yield near five-month highs — another potential headwind for stocks, with the 5% level seen as the key point of concern. The benchmark yield slipped about 3 basis points on Tuesday to trade around 4.4%.

At the same time, rising metals prices have sparked concerns about a feed-through effect on inflation. Copper (HG=F), a key industrial input, put on about 0.8% early Tuesday, adding to a 10% year-to-date gain that has prompted talk of a new bull market. Gold (GC=F) climbed about 0.8% at the open to $2,371 an ounce, extending its rally to hit another fresh record.

Another catalyst on the horizon is the start of first-quarter earnings season, which gets underway in earnest on Friday with results from the likes of Citigroup (C), JPMorgan (JPM), and Wells Fargo (WFC).

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Tue, April 9, 2024 at 8:33 AM CDT

US stocks rise as investors await critical inflation data

US stocks climbed higher on Tuesday as investors await key CPI data, due Wednesday morning.

The benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) climbed about 0.4% while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (IXIC) jumped roughly 0.5%. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI)…

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