Stocks higher

Stocks finished higher today, with traders focused on trade talks and inflation.

Yesterday the U.S. reached out to China in an effort to resume trade talks, and today traders were optimistic after China welcomed the idea.

Looking at today's CPI data, consumer prices showed a 0.2% increase which was slightly lower than expected. And based on the last 12 months, consumer prices have risen 2.7% compared to a 2.9% forecast. This is a good thing for the economy since inflation can slow economic growth.

Stocks were higher at the open after CPI and Core CPI were released, but then pulled back a little.

After some sideways trading late morning, the major indices saw another push higher around the noon. From that point on, stocks traded sideways into the close.

With today's higher close, the S&P is just 0.4% away from its record high set on August 29th. It might not "feel" like much of a rally, but the S&P has finished higher 4-days straight.  And the DOW finished the day with its best close since February 1st.

Here's where the major indices ended the day:

  • The S&P finished 0.4% higher. Up 15 points, the S&P ended at 2,904.
  • The DOW ended with a 0.6% gain. Adding 147 points, the DOW closed at 26,146.
  • The NASDAQ was up 0.8%. Higher by 59 points, the NASDAQ finished at 8,014.
  • Bitcoin added 2.3%. Up $145, Bitcoin ended at $6,435.

Crude Oil (CL) dropped after an IEA report showed record global supply numbers of 100 million barrels a day. The threat of Hurricane Florence also had an impact. Although the hurricane is expected to be bad, it has been downgraded from a Cat 4 storm to a Cat 2 as it approaches the Carolinas. Down 1.3%, CL finished at $69.43 a barrel.

Apple (AAPL) bounced back after yesterday's drop with a 2.4% gain. With today's rally Apple is trading just 1.4% away from record highs.

In earnings news, Kroger (KR) was hit with ah 9.9% loss in spite of better than expected earnings. The drop came after same-store sales missed estimates.

Here is the economic calendar for the week:

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