Stocks close higher in wait for inflation data: Stock market news today

Stocks closed higher Tuesday in the countdown to inflation reports that could give the Federal Reserve cause to consider ending its interest rate hikes sooner.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) led the day’s gains to close up 0.93%, or more than 315 points. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) gained 0.7%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) added 0.55%.

Early Tuesday, the NFIB survey on US business confidence showed optimism rose to a seven-month high in June, but a still-tight labor market continued to drive concerns about price pressures.

At the same time, investors weighed comments from Fed officials that more rate hikes are needed as they look ahead to consumer and producer inflation reports due later this week.

Also on the radar: signs that China is gearing up to support its faltering economy, while Amazon kicks off its Prime Day promotion that will be watched for a read on retail and the American consumer.

Stocks close higher ahead of highly anticipated inflation data

Stocks closed Tuesday’s trading session higher as investors await Wednesday’s critical US inflation data.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) led the day’s gains to close up 0.93%, or more than 315 points. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) gained 0.7%, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) added 0.55%.

  • JetBlue sputters after fresh Wall Street downgradeJetBlue Airways (JBLU) stock ticked lower on Tuesday, falling as much as 3%, after Evercore ISI downgraded shares to Underweight from In-line on balance sheet concerns.Analysts, who left the price target unchanged at $8 a share, cited the airline’s pending merger with Spirit, which will cost JetBlue $3.8 billion in cash.As Yahoo Finance’s Ines Ferre reports:“While there will be twists and turns along the way, we believe the Spirit acquisition ultimately gets done while the premium JBLU is paying for Spirit continues to expand,” wrote Evercore ISI analyst Duane Pfennigwerth and his team.The company’s “balance sheet is on a journey from average to worst,” they added.In contrast, Delta (DAL), which kicks off airline earnings on Thursday, is a top pick at Evercore ISI. The company is expected to double its profit over the second quarter of last year on the back of lower costs and pricing power.Calling it a “strong leadoff hitter,” the analysts noted Delta “has done a nice job expectation-setting this year, aided by lower fuel, while a recent investor day was a good reminder of Delta’s positive longer term attributes.” The company aims at prioritizing free cash flow and debt reduction.Lower jet fuel costs are expected to balance out higher labor expenses. Earlier this year, Delta announced a new agreement with pilots that offers $7 billion in higher pay and benefits.
  • 2 hours agoAlexandra CanalJPM hires former SVB executiveJPMorgan Chase (JPM) hired a former Silicon Valley Bank executive to help lead its commercial banking team, the company announced on Tuesday.As Yahoo Finance’s David Hollerith reports:JPM announced the hiring of John China, who spent 27 years working for Silicon Valley Bank and its parent company SVB Financial. Most recently he was president of SVB Capital, the parent company’s venture capital unit.Silicon Valley Bank was seized by regulators on March 10. Its parent company filed for bankruptcy one week later. SVB Capital had $9.5 billion in assets under management, according to a March 19 bankruptcy court filing.China will co-head JPMorgan’s innovation economy practice, which sits inside JPMorgan’s commercial bank. He will be based in San Francisco, running the practice alongside current JPMorgan executive Melissa Smith, who is based in New York City.”John and Melissa’s industry expertise and extensive experience will provide coast-to-coast leadership during this pivotal time for our clients,” John Simmons, head of JPMorgan’s middle market commercial banking business, said in a Tuesday release.JPMorgan’s innovation economy practice is seven years old and focuses on venture capital and startup lending for an array of technology businesses including life sciences, healthcare IT, and climate tech.“The founders and investors who make up the innovation economy are tackling some of the biggest issues facing our world today. They’re creating jobs, technology, and opportunities that are uplifting communities and driving the global economy forward,” Simmons added.
  • 3 hours agoAlexandra CanalWhy Prime Day will create ‘halo effect’ for other e-commerce giantsAmazon (AMZN) Prime Day is currently underway – and its impact will likely benefit other e-commerce retailers amid a strong start to the summer shopping season.The two-day sale, set to run Tuesday and Wednesday, features steep discounts for everyday products like toothbrushes and deodorant to more high-end products like blenders and noise-canceling headphones.Amazon shares were up about 1% on Tuesday and have climbed more than 50% since the start of the year.As Yahoo Finance’s Alexandra Garfinkle reports:”Prime Day is always a major shopping event, but this year it will be a bellwether for early holiday shopping amidst high inflation and rising interest rates that have consumers more cautious of their spending,” said Michael Greene, SVP of global vertical strategy at Criteo.Amazon’s Prime Day has created an ecosystem in which there are major savings opportunities for consumers, ones that they’re likely to take advantage of at Amazon — and elsewhere.”It’s not just Amazon that benefits from the summer shopping excitement,” said Greene. “Other retailers have launched competing events — like Walmart+ Week and Target Circle Week — that led to a boost in traffic and sales. That, in a nutshell, is the Prime Day ‘halo’ effect.”This means that Prime Day hasn’t just created an ecosystem in which Amazon is making money – it’s created one where shopping is happening across e-commerce retailers.”I expect Prime Day will drive adjacent sales for other retailers this year more than any other,” said Kevin Dunn, VP of industry sales, retail, and consumer packaged goods at LiveRamp. “Retailers seem to believe that consumer spending will stay on the rise and reach record highs by the fall holiday season. Inflation is not slowing down consumer spending, but it does have shoppers looking for the best price. Savvy retailers will capitalize on this trend to drive consumers to their own sales events online and in-store. Some of these retailers have already lined up some of the most aggressive sales I’ve seen in a while.”In 2022, Prime Day generated a record-breaking $12 billion in sales, and customers bought more than 300 million items globally. The sale will end on July 12.
  • 4 hours agoJosh SchaferPGA Tour-LIV Golf rivalry takes Capitol HillPGA Tour officials testified on Capitol Hill on an agreement between the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to merge entities.The officials defended their decision to make peace with Saudi-backed LIV Golf before US lawmakers on Tuesday, saying they believe a proposed deal to merge the two entities would not violate US antitrust law and would preserve the league long term.The hearing comes after the PGA Tour reached an agreement with LIV Golf to end antitrust litigation amid growing concerns the PGA Tour wouldn’t be able to keep pace with the LIV Golf tour, which is backed by the Saudi Public Investment Fund. The upstart league offered lucrative contracts to players, with multiple contracts reportedly worth more than $100 million.“My fear is if we don’t get an agreement…They are already putting billions of dollars into golf,” PGA Tour board member Jimmy Dunne said. “They have an unlimited amount of money. That will make people move because [the PGA Tour] isn’t that big. It’s only a couple hundred players.”While much of Tuesday’s hearing didn’t center around antitrust law or anything pertinent to the agreement happening, previously unknown financial details were revealed. Discussions have centered around the PIF providing the new golf entity an amount “north” of $1 billion, per PGA Tour COO Ron Price.The PIF, which has advanced investments in US companies to diversify its largely oil-centric portfolio, holds investments of over $1 billion in six publicly traded US companies, per its most recent 13F filing.
  • 4 hours agoAlexandra CanalStocks edge higher ahead of inflation dataStocks edged slightly higher in midday trading on Tuesday ahead of Wednesday’s key inflation data and a kickoff to earnings season later this week.The S&P 500 (^GSPC) was up 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) traded up 0.5%, or more than 175 points. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) remained muted.
  • 5 hours agoAlexandra CanalGame on! Microsoft wins US court approval to buy Activision BlizzardIn a major win for Microsoft (MSFT), a federal judge in California ruled on Tuesday the tech giant can complete its $69 billion purchase of video game maker Activision Blizzard (ATVI).Shares of Activision climbed on the news, up about 6%. Microsoft shares were muted.The decision follows five days of testimony and comes after the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requested a preliminary injunction to derail the acquisition. The FTC can still file a motion to appeal the decision.In her ruling, Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley wrote:This Court’s responsibility in this case is narrow. It is to decide if, notwithstanding these current circumstances, the merger should be halted—perhaps even terminated—pending resolution of the FTC administrative action. For the reasons explained, the Court finds the FTC has not shown a likelihood it will prevail on its claim this particular vertical merger in this specific industry may substantially lessen competition. To the contrary, the record evidence points to more consumer access to Call of Duty and other Activision content. The motion for a preliminary injunction is therefore DENIED.
  • 6 hours agoAlexandra CanalDraftKings soars on bullish sentiment as shares hit 52-week highDraftKings (DKNG) stock is riding a fresh 52-week high as investors turn bullish on the sports betting company after shares plummeted nearly 60% in 2022.As Yahoo Finance’s Josh Schafer reports:For DraftKings, 2023 has brought a much-needed narrative shift as the operator has ticked away at industry leader FanDuel’s market share in certain areas and has begun to win more frequently against its bettors.Multiple Wall Street analysts have recently raised their price targets, noting the Street hadn’t expected this strong of a first half of the year for DraftKings.”The industry has been better than expected given single game parlays and reduction in promos, so I think that’s good for the overall space, mainly DraftKings and FanDuel,” Macquarie Securities managing director Chad Beynon told Yahoo Finance.DraftKings surprised the Street to the upside during its first quarter earnings release in May, posting revenue of $769.65 million versus Street estimates for $705.18 million.Most notably, the company guided for a full-year adjusted EBITDA loss of $315 million in 2023, down from prior guidance for a loss of $400 million. The path to profitability has been a central part of the investor story for DraftKings, which has yet to post positive quarterly EBITDA since its April 2020 initial public offering.Wall Street analysts expect that to change next month, though. Consensus estimates compiled by Bloomberg currently project DraftKings to post $5.83 million in adjusted EBITDA for the second quarter when the company reports in early August. That’s more than a 100% increase from its results for the same period last year.Shares of DraftKings are up more than 150% since the start of the year.
  • 7 hours agoAlexandra CanalInflation expected to cool further in June but that won’t stop the FedOn Wednesday, investors will be closely monitoring one of the most important data points for the future of Federal Reserve policy — the June inflation report.The closely watched Consumer Price Index (CPI), set for release at 8:30 a.m. ET, is expected to show consumer prices cooled even further last month, with headline inflation forecast to rise 3.1% over the prior year, in a continued slowdown from May’s 4% annual gain, according to estimates from Bloomberg.A 3.1% increase would mark the slowest annual increase in consumer prices since March 2021.Over the prior month, consumer prices are expected to have risen 0.3% in June, up from the 0.1% monthly increase seen in May.On a “core” basis, which strips out the more volatile costs of food and gas, prices in June are expected to have risen 0.3% over the prior month and 5% over last year, according to Bloomberg data.According to a new note from Citi, the slowdown will be largely tied to further easing in shelter prices — which has long been widely expected — along with a decline in used car prices.Still, inflation is expected to remain significantly above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. That, along with last week’s jobs report data that showed a resilient labor market with unemployment low and wages high, suggests the Federal Reserve will continue to raise interest rates this year.Currently, markets are pricing in a roughly 92% chance the Federal Reserve raises rates by another 0.25% later this month, according to data from the CME Group.
  • 7 hours agoAlexandra CanalStocks open higher as investors await CPI dataStocks opened in slightly positive territory on Tuesday after US small business confidence hit a seven-month high in June and investors continue to await Wednesday’s much-anticipated inflation report.Shortly after the open, the S&P 500 (^GSPC) was up about 0.2%, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) led the morning’s gains at 0.4%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) was little changed.