Stocks rise as investors shake off inflation fears
Investors saw some NEW YORK — new hints that inflation is increasing on Wednesday, but they still sent banks, technology firms, and consumer-focused companies climbing. That was a big change after the market’s inflation-inspired plunge earlier this month.
After a shaky start, stocks rose for the fourth straight day, and banks made some of the largest gains as bond yields reached new four-year highs. The move in yields came after the government said consumer prices climbed in January a slightly faster pace than economists had expected. A different government report showed retail sales were unchanged in December and slipped last month.
“I think the fears of the economy overheating have been a little bit balanced out with the combination of these two numbers,” said Katie Nixon, chief investment officer for Northern Trust Wealth Management. “The bond market is not suggesting that runaway inflation is a deep concern.”
Stocks began plunging Feb. 1 after the Labor Department said wages grew at a rapid clip in January. Investors worried that that meant inflation was rising and that it would push the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates more quickly, making it more expensive for people and businesses to borrow money. That would slow down economic growth as well growth in as corporate profits.
The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 35.69 points, or 1.3 percent, to 2,698.63. The Dow Jones industrial average added 253.04 points, or 1 percent, to 24,893.49. The Nasdaq composite climbed 130.10 points, or 1.9 percent, to 7,143.62. The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose 27.15 points, or 1.8 percent, to 1,522.10.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury note rose to 2.91 percent, its highest mark in four years, from 2.84 percent a day earlier.