Major US stock indices rose significantly on Wednesday, as investors digested stronger than expected inflation data and unexpected drop in retail sales in January, which shifted focus from inflation to stagflation.
So, in January, retail sales in the US unexpectedly fell, fixing their biggest recession in almost a year, as households reduced purchases of cars and building materials. The Commerce Department reported on Wednesday that retail sales decreased 0.3% last month, which is the biggest decline since February 2017. Data for December were revised, and showed that sales remained unchanged, but not increased by 0.4%, as previously reported. Economists had forecasted a 0.2% increase in retail sales. Retail sales in January rose by 3.6% compared to last year.
However, the Ministry of Labor said that the consumer price index increased by 0.5% last month, as households paid more for gasoline, housing and health care. The consumer price index in December rose by 0.2%. The consumer price index remained unchanged at 2.1% year on year, as the largest increase in prices over the past year fell from the calculation.
Oil futures rose by about 2.5%, helped by data from the US Energy Ministry and the weakening of the dollar. The US Energy Ministry reported that oil reserves increased by 1.841 million barrels to 422.095 million barrels. However, growth was less than analyst consensus estimates at +2.825 million barrels.
Most components of the DOW index finished trading in positive territory (25 out of 30). Leader of the growth were shares of NIKE, Inc. (NKE, + 3.26%). Outsider were shares of McDonald's Corporation (MCD, -1.23%).
Almost all sectors of the S & P index recorded an increase. The base materials sector grew most (+ 2.0%). The decrease was shown only by the utilities sector (-0.6%).
Dow + 1.03% 24,893.49 +253.04
Nasdaq + 1.86% 7.143.62 +130.10
S & P + 1.34% 2,698.63 +35.69
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