Markets Continue Winning Streak at Midday After Key Inflation Report


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Key Takeaways

  • U.S. equities rose at midday on Thursday, Aug. 31, 2023 and headed for a fifth-straight winning session as a report showed inflation rose modestly last month.
  • Salesforce was the best-performing stock in the Dow as the company cut costs and made more moves into artificial intelligence.
  • Hormel Foods slashed its guidance on lower pork and turkey prices, and sliding demand in China.

U.S. equities were higher at midday and headed towards a five-day winning streak as a key inflation report showed modest gains in July, boosting hopes the Fed will pull back on interest rate hikes. The Dow, S&P 500, and Nasdaq were all higher, although on pace to finish August with a monthly loss.

Salesforce (CRM) shares jumped as the cloud computing platform posted better-than-expected results and raised its full-year forecast on cost-cutting and moves into artificial intelligence (AI). Shares of Arista Networks (ANET) advanced after Citi upgraded the stock and boosted the price target, calling the networking equipment company an early AI stock play.

An analyst upgrade and higher price target lifted shares of 3M (MMM). Morgan Stanley pointed to the conglomerate’s recent settlements of lawsuits related to so-called “forever chemical” and earplugs.

Dollar General (DG) shares plunged as the discount retailer missed profit and sales estimates and cut its guidance on softer sales, higher expenses, and theft. Shares of rival Dollar Tree (DLTR) fell as well.

Hormel Foods (HRL) shares sank after the maker of Spam and other foods cut its full-year outlook on lower pork and turkey prices and sliding demand in China. Shares of Extra Space Storage (EXR) also dropped as Raymond James reduced the price target as shares trade near their lowest levels in more than two years. 

Oil futures rose, gold prices declined. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note fell. The U.S. dollar gained on the euro and pound, but lost ground to the yen. Most major cryptocurrencies traded lower.



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