By Peter Nurse
Investing.com – U.S. stocks are seen opening higher Wednesday, boosted by generally strong quarterly corporate earnings ahead of key consumer inflation data.
The major indices posted strong gains Tuesday, boosted by strong results from the likes of Amgen (NASDAQ:AMGN), Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG), Chegg (NYSE:CHGG) and Dupont (NYSE:DD). The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average closed nearly 400 points, or 1.1%, higher, the broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.8% and the Nasdaq Composite rose 1.3%.
Nearly 60% of all S&P 500 companies have reported fourth-quarter earnings at the close Tuesday, and about 77% have topped Wall Street’s estimates, according to data from FactSet.
Additionally, Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) stock soared in premarket trading after the Tex-Mex restaurant chain beat fourth-quarter earnings estimates despite higher raw material costs and a labor crunch, while Lyft (NASDAQ:LYFT) stock weakened as the ride-hailing firm announced fewer active riders in the last quarter than the previous one.
Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA) will also be in the spotlight after the electric car manufacturer had to recall almost 27,000 vehicles in the United States because a software error may result in decreased windshield defrosting performance.
Away from the corporate sector, Thursday’s consumer prices report will attract a lot of attention, with a hot number expected to put a lot of pressure on the Federal Reserve to start raising interest rates next month.
Economists expect the CPI to rise by 0.5% on the month and 7.3% year over year, a four-decade high, with core CPI (excluding food and energy prices) also rising 0.5% and 5.9%, respectively.
Oil prices edged lower Wednesday despite industry data showing an unexpected drop in U.S. crude stocks.
Data from the American Petroleum Institute showed a drop of 2 million barrels in crude inventories last week, against analyst expectations of a 400,000-barrel increase. Official numbers from the U.S. Energy Information Administration will be released later in the session.
Concerns about a possible Iran nuclear deal that could lift U.S. sanctions on Iranian oil and quickly add supplies to the market have resulted in the market dropping over the last two sessions.
By 7 AM ET, U.S. crude futures traded 0.5% lower at $88.92 a barrel, while the Brent contract fell 0.4% to $90.38.
Dow Futures Rise 190 Pts; Strong Corporate Earnings Boost Sentiment
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