Stock market news live updates: Stocks close at a record as investors look beyond hot inflation – Yahoo Finance

December 19, 2021 by No Comments

Stocks ended Friday at a record level as investors shrugged off a key inflation report ahead of the Federal Reserve’s final policy-setting meeting of the year next week. 

The S&P 500 jumped nearly 1% to log a record closing high. The Dow gained more than 200 points, or 0.6%, while the Nasdaq added 0.7%. 

The Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) showed yet another multi-decade high rate of inflation for November. The CPI climbed by 6.8% in November compared to last year, marking the fastest annual increase since June 1982. This rate matched consensus economists’ estimates, according to Bloomberg data, but accelerated compared to the 6.2% year-over-year rate from the prior month. And even excluding more volatile food and energy prices, the so-called core CPI rose by 4.9% over last year for the fastest increase in about three decades. 

“What we’re looking for is a deceleration as we go forward over the course of 2022,” Luke Tilley, Wilmington Trust chief economist, told Yahoo Finance Live on Thursday, ahead of the CPI print.

“That doesn’t mean prices are going to go down, it’s just a question of, are they going to go up as much in 2022 as in 2021 without the kind of fiscal stimulus we’ve had this year? And we don’t think that that’s going to happen, because it won’t be as much of a push on the demand side,” he added. “And then on the supply side, we’re looking for the labor market to improve, more people returning to work, and of course the delivery and the ports to improve.”  

Other recent data have further underscored the present tightness on the supply side of the economy. Weekly U.S. jobless claims plunged more than expected to reach the lowest level since 1969 last week, coming in even below pre-pandemic levels. And U.S. job openings came in at more than 11 million for only the second time on record in October.  

“Wage increases are probably on the agenda for next year. That’s part of the broadening of inflationary pressures that we’ve already started to see come through in some of that CPI data,” Seema Shah, Principal Global Investors chief strategist, told Yahoo Finance Live on Thursday. “But I have to say that we’re not so worried because we’re starting to see other parts of the inflation picture actually starting to fade. So at the end of next year, 12 months from now, we’re not expecting the kind of 6-7% CPI numbers … We’re thinking more the 3% level for 12 months time.” 

Given the backdrop of elevated inflation, Federal Reserve officials have adopted more …….



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