Stocks rose in volatile trade on Thursday, rebounding from steep losses earlier in the session, as traders assessed the latest US inflation data and what it means for the Federal Reserve going forward.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 423 points, or 1.45%, recovering from a 500-point decline earlier in the day. The S&P 500 rose 1.25% and the Nasdaq Composite gained 1.02%.
Stocks rebounded after hitting their lowest levels since 2020, driven by gains in energy and banking stocks. Shares of Chevron gained more than 3% as oil prices soared, and bank stocks Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan rose 1.3% and 3%, respectively.
Earlier, stocks fell to session lows when September’s consumer inflation report came in higher than economists expected. The consumer price index rose 0.4% for the month, more than the Dow Jones estimate of 0.3%. On an annual basis, inflation increased by 8.2%.
The report warns that inflation is a persistent problem even amid sharp interest rate hikes from the central bank. Going forward, the Fed will likely have to keep raising and keeping rates high until there are signs that inflation is easing.
“A lot of times you can try to find a silver lining in certain numbers – I can’t. I think that’s why you’re seeing this really atrocious backlash right now,” said Steve Sosnick, chief strategist at Interactive Brokers.
Thursday’s CPI report comes a day after the government said the producer price index, another gauge of inflation, rose more than expected.
Investors also digested the Federal Reserve’s September meeting minutes, released Wednesday. Minutes showed that the central bank expected to keep raising interest rates until it saw inflation come down. But one comment has some thinking the Fed could instead slow rate hikes, or even reverse them, if the tumult in financial markets continues.
Going forward, investors will be watching for the start of the earnings season. On Friday, major banks JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley and Citigroup all released their results.