In­vestors lock on in­fla­tion data

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Wall Street climbed on Tues­day for a third straight ses­sion, buoyed by Ama­zon.com and Ap­ple, while in­vestors fo­cused on in­fla­tion data on Wed­nes­day that could up­set the mar­ket’s frag­ile re­cov­ery — or clear the way for ad­di­tional gains.

WALL STREET climbed on Tues­day for a third straight ses­sion, buoyed by Ama­zon.com and Ap­ple, while in­vestors fo­cused on in­fla­tion data on Wed­nes­day that could up­set the mar­ket’s frag­ile re­cov­ery — or clear the way for ad­di­tional gains.

Ama­zon.com rose by 2% while Ap­ple added 1%, both help­ing the S&P 500 shake off a neg­a­tive open to the ses­sion and climb 0.26% by the close.

In­vestors said data on US con­sumer prices and re­tail sales due out on Wed­nes­day will be key to where stocks move in the short term. In­fla­tion and in­ter­est-rate fears sparked a stock mar­ket rout af­ter US jobs data was re­leased on Feb. 2.

Rob Ha­worth, a se­nior in­vest­ment strategist at US Bank Wealth Man­age­ment, said the mar­ket’s re­cov­ery from a neg­a­tive start ear­lier in the ses­sion was a good sign, but that it re­mained too soon to pre­dict the mar­ket’s re­turn to sta­bil­ity. “We think we’re go­ing to be volatile for a few more trad­ing days at least, as the mar­ket sorts out what’s re­ally been go­ing on,” Mr. Ha­worth said.

Among the big­gest movers was sports­wear re­tailer Un­der Ar­mour, up more than 17.36% on strong quar­terly sales, and Amerisource Ber­gen, up 9.30% af­ter the Wall Street Jour­nal re­ported Wal­greens was seek­ing to buy out the drug dis­trib­u­tor.

Cleve­land Fed Pres­i­dent Loretta Mester, a vot­ing mem­ber in the cen­tral bank’s rate-set­ting com­mit­tee this year, said the re­cent stock mar­ket sell-off and jump in volatil­ity will not dam­age the econ­omy’s over­all strong prospects.

Fol­low­ing a slump into cor­rec­tion ter­ri­tory last week, the S&P 500 has re­cov­ered 3.2% in the past three ses­sion. It re­mains down 7.3% from a record high on Jan. 26 and is cur­rently priced at lev­els first reached in early De­cem­ber.

The Dow Jones In­dus­trial Av­er­age rose 0.16% to end at 24,640.45 points, while the S&P 500 gained 6.94 points to close at 2,662.94.

The Nas­daq Com­pos­ite added 0.45% to 7,013.51.

Nine of the 11 ma­jor S&P in­dexes rose, led by real es­tate, up 0.54%.

Bench­mark US 10-year Trea­sury yields dipped to 2.842%, shy of a four-year peak of 2.9020% hit on Mon­day.

The CBOE Volatil­ity In­dex, a widely fol­lowed mea­sure of short­term stock volatil­ity and seen as a con­tribut­ing fac­tor it­self to the sell- off, was last at 25.3 points, half the 50-point mark it touched last week.

Fol­low­ing Wall Street’s re­cent swings, the S& P 500 is down 0.40% for the year. The tech-heavy Nas­daq is up 1.6% in 2018.

On a day of heavy trad­ing in health care com­pa­nies, Henry Schein and Pat­ter­son Com­pa­nies fell 6.64% and 5.19%, re­spec­tively, af­ter news of a US Fed­eral Trade Com­mis­sion com­plaint against the den­tal sup­ply firms. In­vestors in those and other health care dis­trib­u­tors are weigh­ing the pos­si­ble ram­i­fi­ca­tions of the Amerisource Ber­gen deal and a re­port of Ama­zon’s push into the sec­tor.

Of the 70% of the S& P 500 firms that have re­ported earn­ings, nearly 78% of them topped profit ex­pec­ta­tions, ac­cord­ing to Thom­son Reuters data. That is above the 72% av­er­age beat-rate in the past four quar­ters.

Ad­vanc­ing is­sues out­num­bered de­clin­ing ones on the NYSE by 1.31 to one; on Nas­daq, a 1.48- to- one ra­tio fa­vored ad­vancers. About 6.4 bil­lion shares changed hands in US ex­changes on Fri­day, be­low the 8.4 bil­lion daily av­er­age over the last 20 ses­sions.

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