By Geoffrey Smith
Investing.com — U.S. stock markets opened mixed in narrow ranges on Wednesday, against a backdrop dominated by events in Washington DC, where the House of Representatives was set to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time.
By 9:35 AM ET (1435 GMT), the was up an insignificant 6 points, or less than 0.1%, at 31,075 points. The was also more or less unchanged while the opened slightly more strongly with a rise of 0.2%. All three indices had retreated from all-time highs on Tuesday, having had plenty of time to price in the prospect of enhanced fiscal stimulus under a solidly Democratic Congress.
The standout performer in early trade was Intel (NASDAQ:) stock. The chipmaker soared 10% to a six-month high after reports saying it is to replace chief executive Bob Swan with VMWare’s Pat Gelsinger. VMware (NYSE:) stock fell 5.1% in response to the news.Net
Elsewhere in tech, Dropbox Inc (NASDAQ:) stock fell 3.7% after saying it will cut 11% of its workforce, over 300 jobs, and part from chief operating officer Olivia Nottebohm.
General Motors (NYSE:) stock rose 2.1% to the highest level since its post-financial crisis bankruptcy and bailout, after saying on Tuesday that it will start deliveries of electric vans to FedEx (NYSE:) later this year, inserting itself into an EV niche still unoccupied by Tesla (NASDAQ:).
Earlier, the main economic data release of the day had passed off exactly as forecast, with consumer prices rising 0.4% in December. The biggest increases were in appliance prices and moving costs, both of which reflect two of the big trends of the pandemic. Food prices also rose more strongly while hotel and airline prices continued to struggle under the effects of a pandemic which still hasn’t crested in the U.S. Daily death rates are back above 4,000 after a brief lull, according to data released on Tuesday.
Interest in the inflation numbers has ticked up recently as debate has started to focus on how fast and how far a loose fiscal and monetary policy combination will push prices this year. The Federal Reserve has committed to let the economy ‘run hot’ for an indefinite period until it feels that the slack in the labor market has been fully taken up. Despite some murmurs that the central bank may start to taper its bond purchases later this year, Influential vice-president Richard Clarida said earlier this week that he doesn’t see any such move this year, a stance he may elaborate on in a speech at 2 PM ET.
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