Wall St ends higher with key inflation data, earnings ahead


By Caroline Valetkevitch

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. stocks ended higher on Tuesday, helped by gains in financial shares as investors awaited key inflation reports and the start of second-quarter earnings in the coming days.

Investors are looking for further clues on whether price pressures are abating and if the Federal Reserve is nearing the end of its interest rate hiking cycle.

U.S. consumer price data is due on Wednesday, while a producer prices report is due on Thursday.

JPMorgan Chase & Co shares rose after Jefferies upgraded the stock to a “buy” ahead of the bank’s quarterly results due on Friday.

Results from JPMorgan and other big banks later this week are expected to unofficially kick off the start of the second-quarter reporting period. The S&P banking index also rose.

“It’s nice to see the market broadening out here ahead of earnings,” said Tim Ghriskey, senior portfolio strategist at Ingalls & Snyder in New York.

“We’ve got a lot of data that’s going to be coming in here … and expectations for the third quarter are also a concern in terms of any guidance companies might be giving on earnings calls.”

The S&P 500 is up about 15% for the year so far, with technology up roughly 40% in that period.

According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 gained 29.75 points, or 0.66%, to end at 4,439.28 points, while the Nasdaq Composite gained 75.22 points, or 0.55%, to 13,760.70. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 303.11 points, or 0.89%, to 34,247.51.

Wall Street banks are expected to report higher profits for the second quarter as rising interest payments offset a reduction in dealmaking.

Among the S&P 500’s biggest gainers on the day, shares of videogame maker Activision Blizzard jumped after a U.S. judge ruled that Microsoft may proceed with its planned acquisition of Activision.

Salesforce shares rose after the cloud services firm said it would increase prices of some of its cloud and marketing tools, a first in seven years.

Also, Amazon.com shares edged up with its “Prime Day” 48-hour shopping event going on this week.

(Reporting by Caroline Valetkevitch in New York; Additional reporting by Johann M Cherian and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel and Matthew Lewis)

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