After an initial surge triggered by the most recent consumer inflation statistics, the major moving averages on Wall Street fluctuated between gains and losses on Wednesday.
The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (COMP.IND) was down 0.49% to 11,972.45 points by the end of trading. The blue-chip Dow (DJI) was down 0.06% to 33,665.79 points and the benchmark S&P 500 (SP500) was down 0.23% to 4,099.39 points. Each of the latter two had previously increased by up to 0.6%.
Seven of S&P’s 11 sectors were down, with communications services and consumer discretionary leading the way. Industrials and energy were the top gainers.
The highly anticipated March CPI report revealed that the headline was up 5% Y/Y, slowing from a 6% rise in February. 5.2% more growth had been predicted by economists.The markets initially reacted positively to the inflation data. However, that initial momentum fizzled as investors grappled with the fact that despite the moderation in CPI readings, it is not enough for the Federal Reserve to pause its rate hike campaign.
“The softer headline figure was driven by a flat read in food prices, the weakest reading since mid-2020,” said JPMorgan’s Michael Feroli.
“Energy prices fell 3.5%, a slightly larger fall than we had indicated. Within the core numbers, core commodity prices rose 0.2%, the strongest since last August, and perhaps a sign that the price drop comes from improving supply Chain performance is starting to slow down – a development that was expected sooner or later…