Markets Trade Higher Ahead Of Thursday’s CPI

Cutout paper illustration representing scheme and Stocks inscriptionImage Source: PexelsAnother healthy day for market indices today is always a welcome sight. We’re operating with little data to this stage in the week, but we won’t turn our nose up at modest bullish sentiment. The Dow was just off session highs, +170 points, +0.45%, while the S&P 500 moved back above 4780: +0.57%. Both are a smidge off all-time highs reached just last week. The Nasdaq outperformed the field, +111 points, +0.75%, and riding a four-day winning streak, while the small-cap Russell 2000 took a breather today, -0.24%.The usual suspects on the Nasdaq led the way, including Magnificent 7 leader NVIDIA (NVDA), which gained +2.28% to a new all-time high. Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) raised its Q4 sales estimates and became the index’s best performer, +10.25%. Visa (V) also hit a new high today, while Meta Platforms (META) gained an additional +3.6% on the session. Not too shabby, considering there’s not a lot of economic grist for the mill today.KB Home (KBH) reported Q4 earnings results after today’s closing bell, beating estimates on both top and bottom lines. Earnings of $1.85 per share were nicely ahead of the $1.69 expected (though still well off the year-ago figure of $2.47 per share), while revenues of $1.67 billion outpaced the $1.61 billion in the Zacks consensus. Deliveries were -10% year over year, but still better than analysts were expecting. Shares are selling off -1.8% directly following the news, but the company reports sequential increases in orders so far in 2024 — likely the result of 30-year fixed mortgage rates coming down to 6.78% from north of 7% only a month or two ago.In all honesty, none of this data matters anywhere near as much as tomorrow’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) will. December month-over-month CPI is expected to tick up 10 basis points (bps) to +0.3%, while core CPI month-over-month has been recently revised up to +0.3% — in line with the previous month. Year over year, another 10 bps tick-up is expected, to be +3.2%. Most importantly of all, core CPI year over year looks to shed 20 bps to +3.8%, which would be the lowest print since the latter half of 2021, when CPI numbers were beginning to skyrocket on the back on the Great Reopening.More By This Author:Markets Party Like It’s 2023Early 2024 Markets Sweep Up ExcessesBouncing Back For The Day, Quarter And Full Year


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