US stocks trade mixed as investors digest March inflation surge and J&J vaccine pause

Stock Market Traders
  • US shares traded mixed on Tuesday as consumer prices surged in March.
  • Consumer prices rose 0.6% in March fueled by an economy rebounding from the pandemic recession.
  • Traders nervously eyed calls to halt use of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine following reports of blood clots in six recipients.
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US shares trade mixed on Tuesday as consumer prices surged in March and officials called for a halt in the administration of Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Consumer prices rose 0.6% in March from February, the Labor Department reported Tuesday, fueled by an economy rebounding from the pandemic recession.

It shot up 2.6% from the same period a year ago – roughly in line with the 2.5% expectation from economists polled by Reuters – when large swathes of the country were in lockdown to curb the spread of the virus

The year-over-year climb is the highest since August 2018. It is also higher than the 1.7% recorded in February.

Among the biggest contributors were gasoline prices, which surged 9.1% in March, and food.

Consumer inflation data aim to capture the cost of buying goods and services, which the Federal Reserve and financial markets watch closely.

Bond yields meanwhile have temporarily risen on expectations of higher growth and inflation. This, in turn, has weighed on technology shares, which look relatively less attractive when yields rise.

The 10-year US Treasury note rose higher Tuesday by 1.5 basis points to 1.691% from the 1.675% at the end of Monday. Yields move inversely to prices.

On Monday, all three major indexes ended lower as investors took a breather from Friday’s record highs.

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Tuesday:

Johnson & Johnson shares fell by as much as 3.5% after the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention jointly recommended a pause in its Covid-19 vaccine over blood clot reports in some people who had received the shot. It remains unclear if this will impede President Joe Biden’s goal of administering 200 million vaccines in his first 100 days.

GameStop could see its rally fade because of strong digital competition from Microsoft and Sony, Ascendiant Capital analyst Edward Woo said. Woo pointed to GameStop’s low market share in digital game sales and expects the company’s long-term share price to drop sharply.

“Due to the popularity of GameStop on Reddit chat boards and with Robinhood retail investors, GameStop shares appears to no longer trade on traditional fundamental valuations or metrics, but on retail investors’ sentiment, hope, momentum, and the powers of crowds,” he wrote.

Bitcoin breaks its record for the second straight day, soaring to an all-time high above $63,000 amid excitement ahead of Coinbase’s direct listing on the Nasdaq. The world’s most famous cryptocurrency rose as much as 5.3% to hit $63,179 on Tuesday, well above the last all-time high of just over $61,700 seen in March.

Oil prices edged higher after strong Chinese import data, Reuters reported, shrugging off tensions in the Middle East, which thus far have not affected oil supply. West Texas Intermediate crude climbed 0.92%, to $60.251 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose 1.01% to $63.92 a barrel.

Gold slipped 0.24%, to $1,739.81 per ounce, as the treasury yields weighed on the precious metal’s appeal.

Read the original article on Business Insider