Stocks finish mostly higher as attention shifts to bank earnings later in the week.
U.S. stocks traded mostly higher on Wednesday, as investors dissected the latest batch of inflation data ahead of high-profile corporate earnings later in the week.
The large-cap S&P 500 Index (NYSEARCA:SPY) gained 0.4% to 2,888.36. Seven of 11 primary sectors recorded gains, led by information technology companies.
The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index (NYSEARCA:QQQ) advanced 0.7% to close at 7,964.24.
Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (NYSEARCA:DIA) finished virtually flat at 26,157.70.
A measure of implied volatility known as the CBOE VIX (NYSEARCA:VXX) declined on Wednesday, snapping a two-day rally. The so-called “fear index” bottomed at 13.34. It would later settle at 13.40, having declined 6.2%.
In economic data, U.S. consumer prices increased more than expected last month, though core prices weakened. The consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.4% in March and 1.9% annually, the Department of Labor reported Wednesday. Both figures exceeded analysts’ forecasts.
So-called core inflation, which strips away volatile food and energy costs, edged up 0.1% on month and 2% annually. Both figures were below the consensus forecast.
The Federal Reserve targets annual inflation at 2% but relies on the core personal consumption expenditure (PCE) index to track price growth.
The Final Word: Attention shifts to corporate earnings in the second half of the week. JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co are among the companies to headline the earnings calendar this week. A slew of Dow blue-chips are scheduled to report next week.