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Stock Market Today: Nasdaq tumbles despite soft CPI data, Nvidia falls 5.6%

Published 07/10/2024, 07:45 PM
Updated 07/11/2024, 04:27 PM
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Investing.com-- US stocks fell Thursday, despite cooling inflation data pointed to a slowing in the U.S. economy even if Federal Reserve interest rate cuts become a possibility later this year.

The S&P 500 fell 0.88%, backing down from its earlier record-setting level to close at 5,584.54. The Nasdaq Composite, similarly, retreated from its daily high by 1.95%, ending at 18,283.41, with Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA)'s shares dropping by over 5.5%.

In contrast, the Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up slightly by 32.39 points, or 0.08%, closing at 39,753.75.

Small-cap stocks, as measured by the Russell 2000 Index, rose as much as 3.6%. This rally was fueled by expectations of a Federal Reserve rate cut in September and hopes for an economic soft landing, bolstered by the latest inflation data.

Following the CPI announcement, Treasury yields dipped as traders increased their bets on forthcoming interest rate cuts. The likelihood of a rate reduction in September jumped to about 93%, as indicated by the CME FedWatch Tool, although the market consensus is that the Fed will maintain rates at the upcoming meeting later this month.

Cooling CPI points to interest rate cuts

Data released earlier Thursday showed the June Consumer Price Index fell 0.1% on a monthly basis, instead of the expected 0.1% increase forecast. Annually, it increased 3%, lower than the expected 3.1% rise.

The widely-watched core figure, which excludes volatile food and energy components, rose just 0.1% on a monthly basis, and gained 3.3% annually, versus an estimated 3.4% increase.

These figures added to expectations that the Federal Reserve could start cutting rates as soon as September, the next Fed policy-setting meeting.

The main indices on Wall Street rallied on Wednesday, to new record highs, following positive comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who noted recent cooling in the U.S. economy but felt confident there would still be a soft landing for the economy.

Powell, speaking on the second day of his semi-annual Congressional testimony, told lawmakers on Capitol Hill on Wednesday that "more good data" would build the case for the U.S. central bank to cut interest rates. 

That said, a number of Fed officials have also expressed caution that they would need more evidence of cooling inflation before they voted for cuts, and inflation has remained above the bank's 2% target.

PepsiCo hit by declining North American demand  

The new U.S. quarterly earnings season starts in earnest on Friday, with results scheduled from a number of the nation’s major banking institutions.

Ahead of that soft drinks giant PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) stock closed 0.2% higher after reporting disappointing second-quarter sales figures, hurt by declining demand in North America for its drinks and snacks.

Delta Air Lines (NYSE:DAL) stock fell 4% after the carrier forecast lower profits in the current quarter than expected, citing discounting pressure in the low end of the market.

Elsewhere, supermarket chain Costco Wholesale (NASDAQ:COST) stock dropped 4.3% despite the announced plans to increase annual membership fees for the first time since 2017.

Chemicals firm WD-40 Company (NASDAQ:WDFC) surged 4.1% after clocking strong quarterly earnings, while aluminum giant Alcoa (NYSE:AA) rose 1.9% after also reporting strong earnings.

Crude falls on bearish IEA report  

Crude prices retreated Thursday after a bearish monthly report from the International Energy Agency outweighed the muted U.S. inflation as well as a drop in U.S. inventories.

By 09:35 ET, the U.S. crude futures (WTI) rose 1.1%, while the Brent contract jumped 0.7%.

The International Energy Agency forecast that global oil demand growth will slow to just under a million barrels per day this year and next, as Chinese consumption contracted in the second quarter due to economic problems.

Global demand in the second quarter rose by 710,000 barrels a dat year on year in its lowest quarterly increase in over a year, the IEA, which advises industrialised countries, said in its monthly oil report.

Data released on Wednesday showed that U.S. crude inventories fell by 3.4 million barrels last week, far exceeding expectations, while gasoline stocks fell by 2 million barrels, much bigger than the 600,000-barrel draw expected during the U.S. Fourth of July holiday week.

(Ambar Warrick and Peter Nurse contributed to this article.)

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