THE WEEK ON WALL STREET

Stocks fell for the second straight week on inflation concerns despite a report on consumer prices that was initially well received by investors.

STOCKS SLIDE

Tuesday was the only bright spot during the week as stock prices rose after the Labor Department report showed the Consumer Price Index rose 3.2% in February compared with a year earlier. It was a bit warmer than economists expected but cooler than investors feared. The news sparked a day-long rally, with the Standard & Poor’s 500 stock index setting its 17th record high of the year.1,2

Following Tuesday, caution lingered as investors parsed the underlying data behind headline consumer inflation numbers. Thursday’s fresh producer price index (PPI) report showed that wholesale prices increased by 0.6% in February, more than the expected 0.3% increase. Additionally, core PPI (excluding food and energy) was hotter than expected.

Retail sales, also reported on Thursday, were disappointing, rising less than expected and adding to the inflation angst. The news rattled investors and contributed to stocks closing lower for three consecutive days to end the week.3,4

Read More

1. The Wall Street Journal, March 15, 2024
2. The Wall Street Journal, March 12, 2024
3. CNBC, March 15, 2024
4. CNBC, March 15, 2024