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Stocks rise for a second day after back-to-back reports show signs of softening inflation – CNBC

Stocks jumped for a second day Thursday as investors cheered another better-than-expected inflation report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 144 points, or 0.4%. The S&P 500 added 0.3%, and the Nasdaq Composite was flat.

Investor sentiment got a boost when the July producer price index showed a surprise decline from June. PPI dropped 0.5%, compared with an estimate of a 0.2% gain, according to a Dow Jones survey. The PPI reading excluding food and energy rose less than expected.

That reading follows an encouraging consumer price index for July on Wednesday. CPI came in at 8.5%, slightly cooler than the 8.7% expected by analysts surveyed by Dow Jones and a slowing pace from the prior month.

Wednesday’s regular trading session saw all the major indexes rally, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average jumping 535.10 points, or 1.63%. The S&P 500 added 2.13% and hit its highest level since early May, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 2.89%, its highest close since late April.

“The trend is our friend here. The markets will appreciate this as one step forward in the right direction for inflation, yesterday and today,” said Mona Mahajan, senior investment strategist at Edward Jones, on “Squawk Box.”

“For markets, we really can’t fight the momentum we’ve been seeing in the near term,” Mahajan said, but she added that further Federal Reserve rate hikes and a softening labor market could limit gains.

Earnings reports were also boosting the major averages. Disney shares jumped more than 7% after the media giant posted stronger-than-anticipated subscriber numbers for the last quarter, along with earnings and revenue that topped expectations. Disney also said it would raise prices for Disney+.

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