Here are the most important news, trends and analysis that investors need to start their trading day:
1. Stock futures flat after Tuesday’s intraday reversal
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) on October 25, 2021 in New York City.
Spencer Platt | Getty Images
U.S. stock futures were essentially flat Wednesday morning, following Tuesday’s intraday reversal that saw the major indexes finish in the red. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite and S&P 500 both fell around 0.3%, their third straight negative session. They had been up as much as 2% and 1.3%, respectively, as Wall Street initially rallied on hopes inflation was peaking after March’s consumer price index showed the largest annual increase since 1981. The Dow Jones Industrial Average declined about 88 points, or 0.26%, giving up earlier gains of nearly 1.1%. All three indexes closed below their 50-day and 200-day moving averages.
Bond yields ticked higher Wednesday morning. The yield on the benchmark 10-year Treasury note traded around 2.75%. Before the release of the March CPI data on Tuesday, it had reached its highest point since December 2018, topping 2.82%.
2. Wholesale inflation climbed 1.4% in March
Gasoline prices hover around $4.00 a gallon for the least expensive grade at several gas stations in the nation’s capital on April 11, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Chip Somodevilla | Getty Images
Wholesale inflation in March jumped 1.4% on the month, the Labor Department said Wednesday, rising more than the 1.1% estimate from Dow Jones. On an annual basis, the producer price index increased 11.2% from a year ago, the biggest since the data started being collected in November 2010. In February, wholesale inflation rose 10% on an annual basis.
So-called core PPI, which excludes food, energy and trade services, rose 0.9% in March. That’s above the Dow Jones estimate of 0.5%. In February, core PPI increased by just 0.2% month over month.
The data offers another window into the inflationary pressures hitting the U.S. economy, after Tuesday’s consumer price report showed a headline gain of 8.5% compared with a year earlier. While the PPI isn’t followed as closely as the CPI, prices at the wholesale level can impact what consumers pay at the register later on.
3. Earnings season kicks off with JPMorgan, Delta Air Lines
Signage outside a Chase bank branch in San Francisco, California, on Monday, July 12, 2021.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Earnings season kicked off in earnest Wednesday morning, providing investors with a series of insights on the state of the economy and consumers.
JPMorgan, the biggest U.S. bank by assets, reported better-than-expected revenue and posted per-share earnings of $2.63 for the first quarter. It also reported a $524 million hit from market dislocations related to sanctions on Russia, and CEO Jamie Dimon said in prepared remarks he sees “significant” challenges ahead for the U.S. economy.
Delta Air Lines shares popped in premarket trading after the Atlanta-based carrier said it expects to turn a profit in the current quarter. An increase in bookings and fares are helping offset surging fuel costs. In its first quarter, Delta reported a narrower-than-expected loss and revenue topped estimates, too.
4. Bankers lower mortgage demand outlook for 2022
New homes at the Cielo at Sand Creek by Century Communities housing development in Antioch, California, U.S., on Thursday, March 31, 2022.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Mortgage bankers lowered their demand outlook for 2022, as steep increases in rates are further straining affordability in the nation’s housing market. The Mortgage Bankers Association expects overall mortgage originations to be $2.58 trillion this year, after previously calling for $2.61 trillion. That would represent a 35.5% decline compared with 2021. The organization’s recalibrated outlook is noteworthy due to the important role the housing sector has in the U.S. economy.
5. Biden calls Russia’s actions in Ukraine ‘genocide’
US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid in the East Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on April 5, 2022.
Mandel Ngan | AFP | Getty Images
President Joe Biden on two occasions Tuesday night said Russia’s actions in Ukraine “sure seem” like genocide to him, offering the characterization for the first time since the war began. “I called it genocide because it has become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of even being able to be Ukrainian,” Biden said. While a White House advisor indicated Biden’s comments don’t mean U.S. policy toward Ukraine is being altered, the president said, “evidence is mounting” that Russia’s actions are more than isolated war crimes.
The U.S. is expected to offer an additional $750 million in military aid to Ukraine, Reuters reported, citing American officials familiar with the matter. An announcement could happen as soon as Wednesday, the news organization reported.
— CNBC’s Christina Wilkie and Diana Olick contributed to this report.
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