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Markets Trade Up Ahead of CPI, Fed Meeting

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Ahead of some key data points and a new Fed decision on interest rates this week, markets bounced higher off a tepid start to the trading week as of the opening bell. By the 1:00pm hour ET, all four major indices were in the green: the Dow +157 points, +0.43%, the Nasdaq +28 points, +0.20%. The S&P 500 split the difference on the session, +0.39%, while the small-cap Russell 2000 ended up +0.15%.

Investors believe the Fed has got a handle on how to wrangle inflation back down to 2% without dragging the economy into a deep recession. The Dow and S&P had actually reached new intraday highs today; we’ve seen after a terrific November and steadily higher December thus far. Consumer Price Index (CPI) numbers tomorrow are not expected to spike hotter; even if they do, one set of data points would almost assuredly not be enough for the Fed to consider making a move on interest rates Wednesday.

Macy’s (M - Free Report) stock is spiking today, however, following a $5.8 billion buyout offer from Arkhouse and Brigade Capital. Based on the companies making the offer, it would appear the vast real estate holdings Macy’s currently has is the main attraction here. Also, there is a possibility that this is merely a first bid in what be an emerging competition for Macy’s. The department store’s stock had been -15% year to date ahead of this development.

Oracle (ORCL - Free Report) shares are tumbling -8% in late trading, as a mixed Q2 earnings report has hit the tape after today’s closing bell. Earnings of $1.34 per share beat the Zacks consensus by 2 cents, but revenues of $12.9 billion came in below estimates for $13.05 billion. This is the second-straight softer-than-expected quarter on the top line; the narrative that Oracle — while still a huge software company with plenty of revenue streams — is behind its top competition on cloud services, and may now be behind on A.I. development, as well. Guidance, as always, will be supplied on the conference call.

And Casey’s General Stores (CASY - Free Report) has also posted fiscal Q2 earnings results in the afternoon session, and also brings a beat on the bottom line and a miss on the top. Earnings of $4.24 per share was well ahead of the $3.65 expected in the Zacks consensus, but revenues of $4.06 billion was light the $.15 billion anticipated. Same-store sales were up +2.9% in the quarter, and the company is building out meaningfully in the state of Texas, with 22 new stores acquired. Shares are up marginally in the after-market.

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