US Stock Market Today: S&P 500, Dow Jones decline, Nasdaq rises after hotter-than-expected US inflation data

US Stock Market Today: Wall Street stocks ended mixed on Tuesday after U.S. consumer price data for January offered little to change expectations about the Federal Reserve’s path forward on interest rate hikes. U.S. consumer prices accelerated as Americans continued to be burdened by higher rental housing costs, suggesting that the Fed will maintain its fight against inflation.

“Inflation remains elevated, albeit it appears to be slowing,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Wealth Management in Minneapolis. “Looking at today’s price action, I think it might be a little bit of profit-taking on the heels of strong year-to-date performance.”

Of the 11 S&P 500 sector indexes, seven declined, led by real estate (.SPLRCR), down 1.08 per cent, followed by a 0.95 per cent loss in consumer staples (.SPLRCS).

The consumer discretionary index . The electric car maker has rebounded over 60 per cent in 2023 after losing two-thirds of its value last year.

Money market traders are betting on at least two more 25 basis point rate hikes this year, with interest rates seen peaking at 5.28 per cent by July.

Also adding to the investor angst were hawkish remarks by Richmond Fed President Thomas Barkin and Dallas Fed President Lorie Logan. Barkin said the Fed needs to prioritize quashing inflation over risks to U.S. economic growth.

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Wall Street had an upbeat start to the year, lifted by renewed interest in volatile growth stocks battered in 2022 as the Fed raised rates aggressively to bring steep prices under control.

The rally, however, stalled last week following signs of a tight labor market and hawkish commentary from Fed policymakers.

The S&P 500 is up about 8 per cent so far in 2023, while the Nasdaq Composite Index (.IXIC) has rebounded about 14 per cent.

Investors will closely watch January retail sales data on Wednesday for hints on consumer spending amid worries of an economic slowdown.

The S&P 500 declined 0.03 per cent to end at 4,136.17 points. The Nasdaq gained 0.57 per cent at 11,960.15 points, while Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) declined 0.46 per cent to 34,089.40 points.

Shares of Boeing Co (BA.N) rose 1.3 per cent to their highest in over a year after Air India unveiled a deal to buy 220 of its passenger planes.
Coca-Cola Co (KO.N) slipped 1.7 per cent despite a strong full-year profit forecast.

Marriott International Inc (MAR.O) rose 4 per cent after the hotel operator forecast first-quarter earnings above Wall Street estimates as it benefited from strong travel demand.

Palantir Technologies (PLTR.N) soared more than 21 per cent after the data analytics firm forecast its first profitable year.

Of the more than half of S&P 500 firms that have reported results, nearly 69 per cent have beaten profit expectations, as per Refinitiv on Friday. However, analysts expect fourth-quarter earnings to fall 2.8 per cent from a year earlier.

Across the U.S. stock market (.AD.US), decliners outnumbered advancers by a 1.1-to-one ratio.

The S&P 500 posted 10 new highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq recorded 75 new highs and 76 new lows.

Volume on U.S. exchanges was relatively light, with 10.7 billion shares traded, compared to an average of 11.8 billion shares over the previous 20 sessions.