Dow Surges Over 300 Points; US Inflation Rate Drops To 6%

U.S. stocks traded higher this morning, with the Dow Jones gaining more than 300 points on Tuesday.

Following the market opening Tuesday, the Dow traded up 1.03% to 32,145.42 while the NASDAQ rose 1.78% to 11,388.42. The S&P 500, also rose, gaining, 1.51% to 3,913.80.

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Leading and Lagging Sectors

  • Financials shares rose by 2.5% on Tuesday. Meanwhile, top gainers in the sector included Velocity Financial, Inc. VEL, up 11%, and Provident Bancorp, Inc. PVBC, up 9%.
  • In trading on Tuesday, consumer staples shares rose by just 0.3%.

 

Top Headline

The annual inflation rate in the US eased to 6% in February, the lowest level since September 2021, in line with market expectations, and versus 6.4% in the previous month.

 

Equities Trading UP

  • PacWest Bancorp PACW shares shot up 45% to $14.10 as part of what appears to be a relief rally in the financial sector as several bank names bounce back after facing heavy selling pressure over the last few trading sessions.
  • Shares of First Republic Bank FRC got a boost, shooting 44% to $44.85 as part of what appears to be a relief rally in the financial sector as several bank names bounce back after facing heavy selling pressure over the last few trading sessions.
  • Western Alliance Bancorporation WAL shares were also up, gaining 34% to $35.01. Wells Fargo maintained an Overweight rating on the stock, but lowered its price target from $90 to $65. Western Alliance Bancorporation’s form 13G showed Citadel Advisors LLC increased stake in company to 5.3%.

 

Equities Trading DOWN

  • GitLab Inc. GTLB shares tumbled 28% to $32.05 after the company issued weak revenue guidance.
  • Shares of Oportun Financial Corporation OPRT were down 26% to $3.11 after the company posted downbeat Q4 results and issued weak revenue forecast.
  • RAPT Therapeutics, Inc. RAPT was down, falling 22% to $20.75 after reporting Q4 results.

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Commodities

In commodity news, oil traded down 1.8% to $73.46 while gold traded down 0.4% at $1,908.50.

Silver traded down 0.4% to $21.835 on Tuesday while copper fell 0.3% to $4.0435.

 

Euro zone

European shares were higher today. The eurozone’s STOXX 600 gained 1.5%, London’s FTSE 100 rose 0.8% while Spain’s IBEX 35 Index climbed 2.3%. The German DAX climbed 1.9% French CAC 40 rose 1.8% and Italy’s FTSE MIB Index rose 2.1%.

Italy’s industrial production declined by 0.7% from a month ago in January. Spain's consumer price inflation rate was revised lower to 6.0% in February versus a preliminary reading of 6.1%.

The unemployment rate in the UK came in at 3.7% in November to January. Average weekly earnings climbed 5.7% year-over-year to GBP 630 in the three months to January.

 

Asia Pacific Markets

Asian markets closed lower on Tuesday, with Japan’s Nikkei 225 dropping 2.19%, Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index dropping 2.27% and China’s Shanghai Composite Index declining 0.72%. India’s S&P BSE Sensex fell 0.58%.

Manufacturing production in Hong Kong dropped 0.1 percent year-over-year in the fourth quarter. Indian annual wholesale price inflation rate declined to 3.85% in February from 4.73% in the previous month. The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Index of Consumer Sentiment for Australia came in unchanged at 78.5 in March, while NAB business confidence index fell 10 points to -4 during February.

 

Economics

  • The NFIB Small Business Optimism Index rose to 90.9 in February, recording the highest level in three months.
  • The annual inflation rate in the US eased to 6% in February, the lowest level since September 2021, in line with market expectations, and versus 6.4% in the previous month.

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COVID-19 Update

The U.S. has the highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths in the world, reporting a total of 105,649,010 cases with around 1,148,990 deaths. India confirmed a total of at least 44,691,330 cases and 530,780 deaths, while France reported over 39,657,160 COVID-19 cases with 165,210 deaths. In total, there were at least 681,707,740 cases of COVID-19 worldwide with more than 6,812,900 deaths.

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