Wall St rises as in-line inflation information calms nerves

©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A trader watches his chart while working on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange July 8, 2014. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Bansari Mayur Kamdar and Shreyashi Sanyal

(Reuters) – US stock indexes rose on Wednesday after consumer price data that broadly met expectations allayed some concerns about faster-than-expected rate hikes, with big tech stocks providing the biggest boost.

Labor Department data showed that its consumer price index rose 0.5% last month after rising 0.8% in November, while the CPI rose 7.0% in the 12-months to December to the highest rise in the month YoY has been rising for almost four decades.

Economists polled by Reuters had forecast the CPI to rise 0.4% in December and rise 7.0% year-on-year.

"I don't see any disruption in markets because higher inflation was expected," said Peter Cardillo, chief market economist at Spartan Capital Securities.

"The fact that the core rate was around expectations suggests we're starting to see some kind of decline going forward."

Eight of the 11 major sector indices were higher in early trade, with technology and consumer discretionary, which are home to some of the biggest growth companies, boosting the benchmark index.

Mega cap companies such as Apple Inc (NASDAQ:), Inc (NASDAQ:), microsoft corp (NASDAQ:), Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc and Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc gained, rising 1.7%.

Growth and technology stocks, hit by rising Treasury yields and hawkish comment from the Federal Reserve, have staged a comeback this week, with investors eyeing a variety of metrics to decide whether to buy the rally or brace for further declines to adjust.

Big Tech was buoyed Tuesday by Fed Chair Jerome Powell's comments that sounded less hawkish and allayed concerns sparked by the minutes of the central bank's December meeting.

As of 9:52 a.m. ET, the S&P 500 was up 183.14 points, or 0.51%, to 36,435.16, the S&P 500 was up 26.46 points, or 0.56%, to 4,739.53, and the S&P 500 was up 109 .59 points or 0.72% to 15,263.04.

JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:), City group Inc (NYSE:) and MorganStanley (NYSE:) will open its fourth-quarter earnings season on Friday, followed by Bank of America Corp (NYSE:) earnings on January 19.

Shares of US-listed Chinese companies extended gains from last week. Ride-hailing firm Didi Global led the field, up 3.5% after a media report said its Hong Kong IPO, announced in December, could take place in the second quarter of this year, along with its delisting from the NYSE.

Biogen (NASDAQ:) fell 9.4%, dragging down the S&P 500 healthcare index, which fell 0.4%.

The US government's Medicare program said Tuesday it plans to cover Alzheimer's treatments including Biogen's Aduhelm but will require patients to be enrolled in a clinical trial, limiting access to more than many expected.

Jefferies Financial Group slipped 9.3% after missing estimates for fourth-quarter earnings and revenue.

Upward issues outweighed downsides by a 3.00-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.79-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq. The S&P index posted 34 new 52-week highs and one new low, while the Nasdaq posted 35 new highs and 23 new lows.

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