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Stock Market Today: Stocks Sustain Gains as Inflation Rises Moderately

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Those banking on a shift in monetary policy at this week's central bankers symposium in Jackson Hole, Wyo., could be setting themselves up for disappointment.

U.S. stocks were sustaining midday gains on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 hovering just 0.37% below its July 24 record close. The increases came as many economists and market participants continue to bet that the Federal Reserve will keep communicating a more dovish stance despite rising chatter on inflation and a consistently healthy economic recovery.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.47% to 16,917.21. The S&P 500 was up 0.45% to 1,980.59. The Nasdaq was up 0.29% to 4,521.17.

TheStreet's Susannah Lee has your midday market action:

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Jonathan Krinsky, the chief market technician at MKM Partners, said that while breadth is confirming the strength in the S&P 500, short-term charts show the Nasdaq's breadth continues to make new lows on the session with the advance/decline line now just in the +300 range or about half the levels of earlier in the day.

Ahead of the open on Tuesday, the oft-watched inflation gauge, the Consumer Price Index, reported an as-expected 0.1% rise in July, down from 0.3% in June; the reading highlights that while inflationary pressures are in motion, broad readings aren't surging. Such reports are expected to give the Fed more room to maneuver on rate hiking. The government also reported that housing starts jumped 15.7% in July to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.09 million units.

The FOMC minutes from the Fed's July meeting on Wednesday and Fed Chair Janet Yellen's speech at Jackson Hole on Friday are expected to provide more clues into whether the central bank will expedite the policy normalization process.

Ed Yardeni, chief investment strategist at Yardeni Research, is among the market participants who are certain that Yellen will give a more dovish rather than hawkish speech in light of her previously-voiced concerns that history has shown that premature monetary tightening can be disastrous.

"I've often affectionately called her the 'Fairy Godmother of the Bull Market.' Stock prices tend to rise after she speaks about the economy and monetary policy," said Yardeni.

In morning action, Apple (AAPL - Get Report)  hit an all-time split-adjusted high of $99.94 after the tech giant received a patent that could remove a roadblock to the company's long-rumored iWatch. Home-improvement retailer Home Depot (HD - Get Report) was up 5.99% to $88.60 after reporting second-quarter earnings of $2.05 billion, or $1.52 a share, up from year-earlier profit of $1.79 billion, or $1.24 a share. Sprint (S) , the third-largest wireless company in the U.S., was shedding 4.09% to $5.39 after announcing new, cheaper pricing plans on Monday that double its data offerings.

--By Andrea Tse in New York

Follow @AndreaTTse

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