Stocks waver after wholesale inflation data surprises: Stock market news today

US stocks lost momentum on Wednesday, as investors assessed hotter-than-expected wholesale inflation data and looked to Federal Reserve minutes for a window into policymakers’ thinking on interest rates.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) and the S&P 500 (^GSPC) were both broadly flat, retracing more solid gains earlier in the session. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) put on roughly 0.3%, poised to build on Tuesday’s win.

US wholesale prices rose last month at the fastest pace since April, with the producer price index for September climbing 2.2% from a year earlier, compared with the 1.6% gain expected.

The PPI reading suggests that inflationary pressures remain despite the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes. Minutes from the central bank’s last meeting due later Wednesday should give more insight into the future path of its policy.

Read more: What a Fed rate-hike pause means for bank accounts, CDs, loans, and credit cards

Meanwhile, Treasury yields continued to retreat from 16-year highs hit during the bond sell-off after Israel stepped up its bombardment of Gaza. The benchmark 10-year (^TNX) yield dropped to trade near 4.61% on Wednesday, compared with last week’s peak above 4.88%.

But bonds may not be out of the woods yet, some analysts said, given the lack of weak economic data or a solid reason for yields to keep falling.

More investors are now betting the Federal Reserve won’t hike interest rates at its November meeting, as the recent surge in bond yields is seen as effectively doing the tightening work of the central bank.

A firmer-than-expected reading on US consumer inflation on Friday could compel the Fed to take action, some on Wall Street suggest.

Potentially lifting some pressure, oil prices continued to slide as the impact on supply from the Middle East conflict appeared contained. Crude oil futures (CL=F) dropped 2.8% to below $84, while Brent crude futures (BZ=F) were down 2.3% at under $86.

In individual stocks, Exxon Mobil (XOM) shares slipped 4% after the energy giant agreed to buy shale rival Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) in an all-stock deal valued at almost $60 billion. Pioneer shares gained less than 1%.

Also in focus, Birkenstock (BIRK) is expected to make its trading debut on the NYSE on Wednesday, after pricing its IPO at $46 a share. That values the German sandal maker at $8.64 billion.

  • Stocks waver on PPI surprise

    Stocks lost steam in afternoon trading after the Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand increased more than expected in September. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) remained the only major index in the green, up a modest 0.1%. The benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) traded near the flatline, each down about 0.2%.

    The yield on the 10-year Treasury note (^TNX) continued to decline, down 7 basis points to trade near 4.58%.

  • Investors await Birkenstock IPO

    Germany-based footwear company Birkenstock is indicated to open between $42 and $44 a share, below its IPO price of $46, as the company preps its much-anticipated Wall Street debut. The stock will trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol “BIRK.”

    “Through the strong reputation and universal appeal of our brand — enabling extensive word-of-mouth exposure and outsized earned media value — we have efficiently built a growing global fanbase of millions of consumers that uniquely transcends geography, gender, age and income,” Birkenstock said in a recent SEC filing.

    Birkenstock’s public debut will be the fourth US IPO in the past month, following the debuts of Arm Holdings, Klaviyo and Instacart.

  • Oil prices cool

    Oil prices continued their downward trend on Wednesday with Crude oil futures (CL=F) dropping nearly 3% to trade below $84 a barrel. Brent crude futures (BZ=F) were down about 2.3% to trade at just under $86 a barrel.

    The cooling price levels come after oil prices jumped on Monday amid escalating fears over the latest conflict in Israel. Since then, however, concerns surrounding supply have begun to ease.

  • Producer prices edge higher amid energy, food costs

    The Producer Price Index (PPI) for final demand increased more than expected in September, rising 0.5% on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics Wednesday morning. Economists polled by Bloomberg had expected a 0.3% rise.

    The 0.5% increase followed a 0.7% increase in August and a 0.6% in July, according to the report. The measure increased 2.2% on a year-over-year basis, well ahead of estimates of 1.6%.

    The rise comes amid higher energy and food costs with oil prices reaching the highest level in over a year last month. Excluding those components, PPI ticked up 0.3% in September, slightly above estimates of 0.2%.

    “While we would expect the Fed look past volatility in the energy market, less encouraging is the pickup in core services momentum,” Oxford Economists economist Matthew Martin wrote in reaction to the report. “Officials are committed to reigning in inflation, but we expect prices to slow enough over the coming quarters to keep additional rate hikes off the table.”

    Martin noted moderating oil prices this week will will be “encouraging news” for October’s report.

  • Stocks open slightly higher

    Stocks opened modestly higher on Wednesday with the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) leading early morning gains, up about 0.5%.

    The benchmark S&P 500 (^GSPC) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) each climbed about 0.4% while the yield on the 10-year Treasury note (^TNX) slid 6 basis points to trade near 4.59%.

  • Stellantis, Walgreens, Exxon: Stocks trending in premarket trading

    Here are some of the stocks leading Yahoo Finance’s trending tickers page in premarket trading on Wednesday:

    Stellantis (STLA): Shares rose over 2% pre market. Stellantis and Samsung SDI said on Wednesday they will build a second electric vehicle battery plant in Kokomo, Indiana.

    Walgreens (WBA): Walgreens shares were up almost 2% on Wednesday after the US pharmacy chain appointed Tim Wentworth as its CEO.

    Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): Shares fell 2%. The group said on Wednesday it had agreed to buy US rival Pioneer Natural Resources in an all-stock deal valued at $59.5 billion.

    LVMH (MC.PA): LVMH shares slumped 5% after reporting slower third-quarter sales growth.

  • Stock futures rise with Fed’s rate path in focus

    Stocks were shaping up for a higher open on Wednesday, as Treasury yields retreated ahead of the release of minutes from the Federal Reserve’s last meeting.

    Futures on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) were up 0.24%, or 85 points, while S&P 500 (^GSPC) futures advanced 0.25%. Contracts on the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 (^NDX) were 0.33% higher.

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