U.S. stocks traded mixed Wednesday after a faster-than-expected reading for consumer price inflation offset the pre-market impact of stronger-than-expected third quarter earnings from JPMorgan (JPM) - Get JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) Report.
Headline CPI for the month of September was estimated to have risen 5.4% from last year, up from the 5.3% pace in August and near to the highest levels since 2008. On a monthly basis, inflation was up 0.4%, the BLS said, with both tallies coming in below Wall Street forecasts.
Global stocks traded modestly higher following surprisingly robust trade data from China, where September exports rose 28.1% from last year as consumer demand outpace supply chain disruptions and power shortages, while last night's passage of a debt ceiling extension by House lawmakers puts at least one market concern to the side until early December.
In the meantime, investors will navigate what could be a tricky earnings season, kicked-off by a stronger-than-expected third quarter update from JPMorgan, as well as September inflation data and minutes from the Federal Reserve's last policy meeting, which will be published at 2:00 pm Eastern time.
The twin releases could go some way in forecasting the Fed's next steps in terms of tapering the pace of its $120 billion in monthly bond purchases -- the first in a series of steps taken before a rate hike -- following two months of weaker-than-expected non-farm payroll data and a record amount of Americans opting to leave the job market.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 185 points lower by late-morning, while the broader S&P 500 fell 12 points.
The Nasdaq Composite meanwhile, gained 25 points as benchmark 10-year note yields eased to 1.5564% in the wake of the inflation data, yesterday's solid $36 billion auction and growing concerns for the strength of the post-pandemic recovery.
Notable movers include Apple (AAPL) - Get Apple Inc. (AAPL) Report, which fell 1.6% in following reports that the tech giant may need to cut production of its signature iPhone 13 as result of the global semiconductor shortage.
JPMorgan, however, fell 2.21% despite stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings Wednesday as investment banking fees from a record year for mergers and acquisitions powered the bank's bottom line.
AT&T, meanwhile, slumped to a fresh 10-year low as investors continue to re-price the group's shift in focus from media assets to telecoms while adjusting to lower payout ratios ahead of its third quarter earnings.
SAP SE (SAP) - Get SAP SE Sponsored ADR Report shares surged 4.1% after the cloud and business software group boosted its full-year revenue outlook thanks to what it called "record adoption of our applications and our platform."
Germany-based SAP said it sees cloud revenues rising by €200 million this year to around €24 billion, a gain of around 17.5% from 2020, with operating profits coming in between down 2% and flat on the year.
Plug Power (PLUG) - Get Plug Power Inc. Report shares also jumped 9.7% after analysts at Morgan Stanley upgraded the hydrogen fuel cell developer to 'outperform' and boosted their price target to $40 a share.
Away from equities, oil prices eased from seven-year highs on demand concerns following a downgrade of global growth forecasts from the International Monetary Fund Tuesday and ahead of tomorrow's stockpile report from the Energy Department.
WTI futures for November delivery were marked 1 cent lower at $80.63 per barrel while Brent contracts for December, the global pricing benchmark, fell 18 cents at $83.24 per barrel.
In Europe, the Stoxx 600 gained 0.36% by mid-morning trade, while benchmark German 10-year note yields moved to -0.13% after a key inflation gauge hit the highest levels in seven years.
Overnight in Asia, the Japanese yen fell to the lowest level against the U.S. dollar in three years, adding to energy input costs in an economy that is largely dependent on oil imports.
Japan's Nikkei 225 closed 0.32% lower at 28,140.28 points while the region-wide MSCI ex-Japan index gained 0.35%.