October 4, 2023

Key Fed inflation rate falls to lowest annual rate in nearly 2 years

Stocks rose Friday with the Dow Jones Industrial average and S&P 500 set to close out their third winning week in a row as a measure of inflation closely watched by the Federal Reserve came in at its lowest in nearly two years.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 177 points, or 0.5%. The S&P 500 added 0.7%. The Nasdaq Composite gained 1.07%.

June data for the personal consumption expenditures price index continued to show easing inflation. The gauge showed PCE gained 0.2% month-over-month, in line with the 0.2% increase expected by economists polled by Dow Jones. Core PCE rose 4.1% from the year-ago period, lower than the anticipated 4.2%.

The data is of particular interest after the central bank raised interest rates earlier this week in a widely expected move. The Fed targets inflation at 2% annually.

Earnings season continued with Dow member Procter & Gamble¬†shares gaining more than 1.1% in premarket trading Friday. The consumer goods company behind Tide and other brands beat analysts’ earnings and revenue expectations in its most recent quarter.

Intel jumped more than 7% as investors applauded a return to profitability, while Roku climbed 8% after beating Wall Street expectations on both the top and bottom lines.

On the other hand, Ford Motor shares fell about 1.4% even though the automaker beat estimates and raised guidance. The company said its electric vehicle adoption was taking longer than expected due to higher costs.

Wall Street is coming off a losing session. The Dow‘s nearly 0.7% tumble marked the end of a 13-day win streak, a length not seen since 1987. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite each finished around 0.6% lower.

The Dow and the Nasdaq are on pace for narrow weekly gains. The 30-stock average is up 0.16%, while the tech-heavy index has a 0.12% gain through Thursday’s close. The S&P 500 is flat on the week, up only 0.02%.

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