July 17, 2024

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Stock Market Today: Most Asian stocks rose ahead of US inflation report

Stock Market Today: Most Asian stocks rose ahead of US inflation report

TOKYO (AP) — Asian stocks rose Friday as traders eyed a key inflation report that could influence the Federal Reserve’s next move on interest rates.

Japan’s Nikkei 225 jumped 0.9% in early trade to 39,711.93. In Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.6% to 7,803.50. South Korea’s Kospi rose nearly 0.3% to 2,790.97. Hong Kong’s Hang Seng added 0.8% to 17,860.79, while the Shanghai Composite rose 1.0% to 2,976.26.

In Japan, the government reported that the unemployment rate was unchanged from the previous month at 2.6% in May.

On Wall Street, the S&P 500 gained 0.1%. The benchmark index is trading near an all-time high hit last week.

The Nasdaq Composite rose 0.3% and remains just below its all-time high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed up 0.1%.

Gains in retailers and communications services companies helped outweigh losses in consumer goods makers, financial stocks and elsewhere. Amazon.com Inc. rose 2.2% and Meta Platforms Inc. added 1.3%.

Walgreens strengthens alliance It fell 22.2%, the biggest drop in the S&P 500. Its reported results fell short of expectations and it trimmed its outlook. The company said it could close hundreds more stores in the next three years.

Levi Strauss jeans maker shares fell by 15.4% after its latest quarterly revenue results were lower than analysts’ expectations, in addition to its current profit expectations for this year.

Shares of spice maker McCormick rose 4.3%, recording one of the largest gains in the market after it exceeded analysts’ profit expectations.

Chipmaker Micron Technology shares fell 7.1% after its latest forecast left investors disappointed.

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Treasury yields fell in the bond market. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which affects interest rates on mortgages and other consumer loans, fell to 4.28% from 4.33% late Wednesday. The yield on two-year Treasury bonds fell to 4.71% from 4.75%.

The stock market has been subdued this week ahead of Friday’s key inflation report from the government. The personal consumption expenditures index is the Federal Reserve’s preferred measure of inflation.

Economists expect the report to show a modest decline in inflation to 2.6% in May, after a reading of 2.7% in April. That’s below the 7.1% peak seen in mid-2022. Other inflation measures, including the consumer price index, have also fallen sharply over the past two years.

The latest updates regarding inflation may affect Central bank decision On when to start cutting interest rates, which remain at their highest levels in more than twenty years and are having an impact around the world. Wall Street is betting that the central bank will start cutting interest rates at its meeting in September.

The government update said: US economic expansion At an annualized rate of 1.4% from January through March. That’s a slight revision from the previous estimate of 1.3%. It’s the slowest quarterly growth since spring 2022.

The report also supported data contained in previous economic reports that show that consumers are under pressure due to persistent inflation and high interest rates. According to the report, consumer spending, which has been fueling economic growth, grew at a rate of only 1.5%, down from the initial estimate of 2%.

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The report’s main finding was that “the economy remained resilient in the first quarter, but private sector demand growth was slowing, led by more prudent consumer spending,” Gregory Daco, EY’s chief economist, said in a note.

A slowdown in consumer spending may help ease inflation, but an excessive slowdown could deal a more painful blow to the economy. The Fed is trying to time its efforts to tame inflation to its 2% target without slowing the economy to the point where it slides into recession.

The S&P 500 is on track for a fourth straight winning week. With just one trading day left this month, the index is up about 4% in June and about 15% so far this year.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index rose 4.97 points to 5,482.87 points. The Dow Jones index added 36.26 points to 39,164.06 points. The Nasdaq index increased 53.53 points to close at 17,858.68 points.

In energy trade, the price of standard US crude rose 44 cents to $82.17 per barrel. The price of global benchmark Brent crude rose 39 cents to $86.78 per barrel.

In currency trading, the US dollar rose to 160.96 Japanese yen from 160.72 yen. The euro fell to $1.0695 from $1.0709.

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AP Business Writers Damian J. Troyes and Alex Vega contributed.