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US stocks climb as investors digest economic data and brace for wave of corporate earnings

Stocks were headed for a third straight win after wholesale inflation in December rose less than expected. ...
Traders Aaron Ford, left, and John Panin work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange wall street stocks
  • Wall Street's key benchmarks rose Thursday, on course to extend a win streak. 
  • Wholesale inflation in December showed signs of cooling with a reading of 0.2%. 
  • Federal Reserve officials are ramping up messaging about hiking interest rates a few times this year. 

US stocks rose Thursday, on course to extend a winning streak as investors assessed labor-market and inflation data while preparing for the steady stream of corporate earnings kicking off this week. 

All three of Wall Street's major benchmarks were headed toward a third consecutive win, staying in recovery mode after a selloff was sparked by the prospect the Federal Reserve will accelerate a drawdown of stimulus measures this year. 

Stock futures ahead of the bell slightly stretched gains after the Labor Department said wholesale prices rose by 0.2% in December, less than an expected increase of 0.4%, suggesting a modest cooling in inflation. But the producer price index was at 9.7% for 2021, the highest level since 2010. 

Weekly jobless claims, meanwhile, unexpectedly jumped by 23,000 to 230,000, remaining at pre-pandemic lows but it was the highest amount since mid-November.

Here's where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. open on Thursday:   

Investors are preparing for the start of the fourth-quarter earnings season. Delta Airlines posted an earnings beat on Thursday, while banks including JP Morgan and Citi to release results on Friday. Investors are also digesting messaging from the Federal Reserve that it embarking on a quick pace of interest-rate hikes to tackle hot inflation. 

The Federal Reserve Presidents of San Francisco and Philadelphia, Mary Daly and Patrick Harker, respectively, said separately they anticipate interest-rate hikes to start as early as March.

Lael Brainard, who was nominated by President Joe Biden to serve as the next vice-chair of the Federal Reserve, said in prepared remarks that "the most important task" for the central bank is to curb inflation. Brainard will appear Thursday before the Senate banking committee as part of her confirmation hearing.

Around the market, Wharton professor Jeremy Siegel sees the S&P 500 rising 9% in 2022

Meme coins lead crypto revival, with shiba inu coin leaping 12%. 

Oil prices declined from a two-month high. West Texas Intermediate crude fell 0.5% to $82.25 per barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, slipped 0.3%, at $84.40.

Gold lost 0.3% to $1,821.30 per ounce. The 10-year yield shed less than 1 basis point, at 1.741%. 

Bitcoinlost 0.5% to trade at $43,724.90.

 

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