The stock market jumped on Wednesday amid solid quarterly earnings, with tech shares continuing to rebound after last month’s sell-off as investors look ahead to an upcoming reading on inflation that most experts are anticipating will be “less hot than feared.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.9%, over 300 points, while the S&P 500 jumped 1.5% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite 2.1%.
Tech shares rebounded strongly for a second session in a row, with e-commerce stock like Shopify and Etsy rising 5% and 4%, respectively, while Facebook parent Meta jumped 5% after a dramatic stock crash last week.
Investors also cheered strong earnings from several companies who saw shares jump as a result, including burrito-maker Chipotle (up 10%), ridesharing service Lyft (up 7%) and solar stock Enphase Energy (up 12%).
Roughly 60% of S&P 500 companies have reported fourth quarter earnings to date—and some 77% have topped estimates, according to FactSet data.
Helping boost markets broadly higher on Wednesday is the fact that many investors are anticipating a “not as bad as feared” inflation reading on Thursday, when the Consumer Price Index report for January is released, says Vital Knowledge founder Adam Crisafulli.
Analysts are estimating that inflation data will show prices rising 0.4% in January, which would amount to a 7.2% gain from a year ago—that number would be up from 7.0% in December, the highest reading in roughly 40 years.
What To Watch For:
January’s inflation reading will be “less hot than feared,” predicts Crisafulli. While prices in general “are on the cusp of entering a disinflationary phase,” the market is “getting a bit ahead of itself in terms of the implications,” he says.
“Many investors remain optimistic about the economy going forward and that even if we have a hot inflation report, appetite for U.S. stocks will still be strong despite the Fed raising rates possibly five times this year,” says Edward Moya, senior analyst at Oanda.
Stocks have continued to rebound since last month’s sell-off, when the Nasdaq fell into correction territory. It was the market’s worst start to a year since 2009, with the S&P 500 falling over 5% in January. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite lost 9% in that period—its worst January since 2008. All three major indexes have now each risen by nearly 2% so far in February.