U.S. Stocks Pare Some Early Gains, But Look Headed For Positive Close


U.S. stocks are up firmly in positive territory Tuesday afternoon despite paring some early gains, and look set to end the day’s session on a fairly positive note.

Data showing a drop in U.S. consumer prices in the month of February, and the troubles faced by the banking sector following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank, have triggered speculation that the Fed might slow down the pace of monetary tightening in the coming months.

Te major averages all are up in positive territory. The Dow is up 87.15 points or 0.28 percent at 31,906.29. The S&P 500 is up 32.55 points or 0.84 percent at 3,888.31, while the Nasdaq is up 139.33 points or 1.25 percent at 11,328.17.

Salesforce.com shares are up more than 3.5 percent. American Express is gaining about 3.5 percent and Intel is climbing 2.5 percent.

Boeing, Chevron, Microsoft, Goldman Sachs, Visa, Nike and Cisco Systems are gaining 1 to 2 percent.

Meta Platforms shares surged more than 6 percent after saying it would cut 10,000 jobs in mass layoffs.

Shares of First Republic Bank soared more than 50 percent. Bancorp surged about 40 percent.

3M, Walgreens Boots Alliance, Amgen and Home Depot are down 1 to 2 percent.

The Labor Department said its consumer price index rose by 0.4 percent in February after climbing by 0.5 percent in January. The advance by the index matched expectations.

Core consumer prices, which exclude food and energy prices, increased by 0.5 percent in February after rising by 0.4 percent in the previous month. Economists had expected core prices to rise by 0.4 percent.

The report also showed the annual rate of consumer price growth slowed to 6.0 percent in February from 6.4 percent in January.

The year-over-year growth, which was in line with economist estimates, marked the smallest 12-month increase since September 2021.

The annual rate of growth by core consumer prices edged down to 5.5 percent in February from 5.6 percent in January.

The slowdown in year-over-year price growth may help offset recent concerns about the outlook for interest rates ahead of next week’s Federal Reserve meeting.

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