Stocks inched higher Thursday as newly released data showed inflation ticked up on an annual basis for the first time in over a year but disinflationary trends remained positive.
In midday trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) gained about 0.2%. The S&P 500 (^GSPC) was roughly flat, while the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) was up 0.1%. All three indexes had pared larger gains from earlier in the session.
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.2% over last month and 3.2% over the prior year in July, in line with June’s 0.2% month-over-month increase but higher than June’s 3% annual increase. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg had expected a 3.3% yearly increase in July.
On a “core” basis, which strips out the more volatile costs of food and gas, prices in July climbed 0.2% over the prior month and 4.7% over last year. Both measures were also slightly better than economist expectations. Core inflation increased at its slowest pace since October 2021.
Meanwhile, earnings season nears its close, with Alibaba (BABA) and Ralph Lauren (RL) releasing quarterly reports. Shares of Disney (DIS) ticked higher after the media giant said it will raise monthly prices for its ad-free streaming plans.
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