Stocks rose today, December 10, as a huge jump in CPI inflation exactly matched economists’ projections.
As they say on the basketball court, “No surprise; no foul.”
The Consumer Price Index (CPI) climbed at a 6.8% annual rate in November. That’s the largest annual jump in inflation since June 1982. The annual rate matched the 6.8% projected by economists surveyed by Bloomberg, but represented still yet another acceleration from the 6.2% annual rate in October.
Core inflation, which excludes more volatility energy and food prices, rose by 4.9%. That’s the fastest annual rate for core inflation in almost 30 years.
You can argue that the news was already baked into investors’ price estimates for U.S. stocks or that they’re looking past current inflation to a gradual drop in the annual rate next year, but whatever the cause stocks were up today. (There were calls this morning that the November rate would be the peak for this cycle.)
The Standard & Poor’s 500 closed ahead 0.95% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.60%. Tech enology stocks outperformed with the NASDAQ Composite rising 0.73% as a result and the BIG TECH dominated NASDAQ 100 higher by 1.13%. The small cap Russell 2000 was the only major index in the red with a loss of 0.49% on the day.
Among technology shares, Apple continued its strong end of the year run with a gain today of 2.80%. Adobe (ADBE) continued to recover from the drop it took in sympathy with disappointing guidance from DocuSign (DOCU) and picked up 3.46%. Tesla (TSLA) added 1.32% and ASML Holding (ASML) led chip equipment stocks with a 1.19% gain.
Consumer staples were also strong with the Consumer Staples Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLP) moving up 1.69% on the day versus a smaller 0.69% gain for the Consumer Discretionary Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLY).
Shares of Coca-Cola (KO) continued their strong run this week with a 2.57% gain. The stock was up 3.37% for the week that ended yesterday, December 9.
The VIX “fear index” continued to pull back from its break above 30 to close at Just 18.88 today after a drop of 10.51% on the day.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury gave up 2 basis points to 1.48%.
Next week, I’d remind everyone, brings the meeting of the Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee on Wednesday. That group is expected to announce an acceleration of the rate that the central bank reduces its monthly purchases of Treasuries and mortgage-backed securities.