Dow climbs 253 points as stocks rise for 4th straight day

Stocks rose for the fourth day in a row.The Dow climbed 253 points Wednesday, and it's back in positive territ...

Posted: Feb 15, 2018 7:21 AM
Updated: Feb 15, 2018 7:21 AM

Stocks rose for the fourth day in a row.

The Dow climbed 253 points Wednesday, and it's back in positive territory for the year.

Investors shrugged off warning signs about inflation. The Labor Department reported consumer prices rose 2.1% over the past year - more than economists had predicted but not enough to freak out the market.

January retail sales came in at their lowest level in 11 months, signaling the economy may not be expanding too quickly.

The Federal Reserve has a target of 2% for inflation. Investors worry that as it inches higher, the Fed will hike interest rates more quickly than planned keep the economy from overheating. Higher interest rates raise the cost of borrowing and put a damper on corporate profits.

"Investors were looking for some hard results on inflationary data, and that's what we got today," said Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist for Allianz Investment Management. Wall Street will be watching another inflation indicator, the producer price index, on Thursday.

But it's hard to take the data on consumer prices "and say inflation is going to run rampant," Ripley said. "The economic backdrop hasn't really changed. Markets are taking this more in stride."

Rock-bottom interest rates have driven the nine-year bull market and juiced stock prices. The Fed has signaled it will raise rates three times this year for the second year in a row.

The Fed funds futures market, a barometer of how fast investors think the Fed will raise interest rates, ticked up after the consumer price data landed, said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial.

Related: Calm returns to Wall Street - for a day

Fear about inflation sparked the market sell-off that began February 2, when the Labor Department reported that wages grew at the fastest pace in nine years. The Dow fell 1,000 points twice last week.

Recent tax cuts have "complicated" the Fed's strategy by adding more fuel to the economy, said PNC Chief Economist Gus Faucher.

The possibility of creeping inflation showed up Wednesday in the bond market, where years of low returns have encouraged investors to put their money into stocks instead of steadier bond yields.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note immediately jumped following consumer price data, from 2.83% to a four-year high of 2.91%.

In recent weeks, yields and stocks had been moving in opposite directions. Wednesday trading signaled that they may be returning to a more stable relationship.

"The market has done very well with 3% 10-year yields, 4% 10 year-yields and even 5%," Krosby said. "It's the market's job to adjust to the backdrop of interest rates."

Peter Boockvar, chief investment strategist at Bleakley Advisory Group, said Wednesday trading was unusual.

"We had a very vicious sell-off, and now we're having an oversold rally," he said. "I would not be surprised if we gave this back in the next day or so."

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 261167

Reported Deaths: 5713
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17561191
Hinds16687329
Harrison14050202
Rankin11102217
Jackson10729188
Lee9014143
Madison8495168
Jones6607114
Forrest6135122
Lauderdale6067192
Lowndes5490120
Lafayette511794
Lamar499865
Washington4904125
Bolivar4087109
Oktibbeha403581
Panola380981
Pontotoc374757
Monroe3651106
Warren3649103
Union353263
Marshall352069
Neshoba3464154
Pearl River3422105
Leflore3090109
Lincoln304287
Sunflower290373
Hancock288461
Tate279062
Alcorn270754
Pike268180
Itawamba266662
Scott256048
Yazoo253756
Prentiss251153
Copiah247649
Tippah247550
Coahoma245954
Simpson241471
Leake236167
Grenada222471
Marion220273
Covington219072
Adams212370
Wayne208432
Winston205870
George203539
Newton197346
Attala196461
Tishomingo193861
Chickasaw188444
Jasper177838
Holmes171368
Clay164237
Tallahatchie155635
Stone149525
Clarke144762
Calhoun139922
Smith127725
Yalobusha121134
Walthall114037
Greene112929
Noxubee112225
Montgomery111236
Carroll106422
Lawrence105617
Perry104031
Amite100826
Webster95424
Tunica88221
Claiborne87825
Jefferson Davis87727
Benton84823
Humphreys84224
Kemper80020
Quitman7049
Franklin69617
Choctaw62513
Wilkinson59625
Jefferson56520
Sharkey44817
Issaquena1606
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 436087

Reported Deaths: 6486
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson63969994
Mobile31211565
Madison27851208
Tuscaloosa21233271
Montgomery19698326
Shelby19093130
Baldwin16981188
Lee13036105
Morgan12526134
Etowah11987179
Calhoun11441206
Marshall10357123
Houston8886158
Limestone827876
Cullman8203108
Elmore8120104
DeKalb7828103
Lauderdale7798103
St. Clair7763125
Talladega6394111
Walker6002177
Jackson594644
Colbert545276
Blount543986
Autauga532761
Coffee456762
Dale406883
Franklin372448
Russell349212
Chilton342873
Covington336068
Escambia330144
Dallas312096
Tallapoosa3120107
Chambers301170
Clarke293336
Pike261131
Marion251558
Lawrence250752
Winston232742
Bibb221248
Geneva208746
Marengo206529
Pickens199031
Hale182742
Barbour179337
Fayette177029
Butler172459
Cherokee164330
Henry158224
Monroe151320
Randolph144336
Washington140127
Clay129146
Crenshaw122944
Macon120937
Cleburne120724
Lamar119721
Lowndes113736
Wilcox106622
Bullock102228
Perry99118
Conecuh96821
Sumter90026
Greene76823
Coosa63215
Choctaw51724
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