Stocks wobble as investors monitor inflation, earnings

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Stocks wobbled between small gains and losses in morning trading Thursday on Wall Street as investors gauged the latest data on inflation and company earnings.

The S&P 500 fell 0.1% as of 10:26 a.m. Eastern. The benchmark index is coming off two days of gains following daily losses since the first day of trading in 2022.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 109 points, or 0.3%, to 36,405 and the Nasdaq rose 0.3%.

Industrial companies made solid gains. Delta Air Lines jumped 3.8% after reporting surprisingly good fourth-quarter financial results.

Banks also gained ground. Major banks, including Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, will report their latest financial results on Friday.

Health care stocks were the biggest weight on the broader market. Pfizer fell 1.5%.

Bond yields were stable. The yield on the 10-year Treasury remained at 1.73% from late Wednesday.

Inflation has been a key focus for investors as they try to gauge how rising prices will impact businesses, consumers and the Federal Reserve’s policy on interest rates in 2022.

The Labor Department on Thursday reported that prices at the wholesale level surged by a record 9.7% for all of 2021, setting an annual record and providing further evidence that inflation is still present at all levels of the U.S. economy. The report follows Wednesday’s release of consumer price data for December, which showed that inflation jumped at its fastest pace in nearly 40 years last month.

Investors are also monitoring how the latest wave of COVID-19 cases affects the global economy. In Asia, the omicron variant has swept across Australia and is gaining ground in other countries despite high vaccination rates, mask requirements and strict border policies.

Japan reported more than 13,000 new infections on Wednesday, the highest level in four months. China, whose zero-COVID policies are being challenged by outbreaks just weeks ahead of the Beijing Winter Games, is testing and in some cases locking down entire cities.

Markets in Asia and Europe were mixed.

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