Dow, S&P 500 attempt to book third day of gains as U.S. stocks rally in the final hour of trade


U.S. stock indexes advanced in the final hour of trade on Wednesday as Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.64% and S&P 500 SPX, +0.34% are on pace to notch the third consecutive day of gains after December’s consumer-price index showed signs of cooling inflation. The Dow industrials jumped 211 points, or 0.6%, to 34,185, after briefly dipping into red territory earlier in the morning. The S&P 500 gained 0.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite COMP, +0.64% advanced 0.5%, on track to post its fifth straight day of gains. U.S. consumer prices moderated again last month, with the headline inflation retreating in December for the sixth month in a row, declining to 6.5% from 7.1% in November. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, the core inflation rose 5.7% in December from a year earlier, slower than 6% in November. Fed-funds futures now reflect a 96% probability of a 25-basis point rise in February, up from around 77% on Wednesday, according to CME FedWatch Tool.

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