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Markets close flat amid reports of rising inflation, Fed plans to taper bond buying

Markets close flat amid reports of rising inflation, Fed plans to taper bond buying
The S&P 500 snapped a three-day losing streak on Wednesday after the Labor Department reported rising inflation in September and the Federal Reserve hinted at plans to taper its easy money policy. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 13 (UPI) -- U.S. markets traded mostly flat on Wednesday as investors processed reports of rising inflation, plans for the Federal Reserve to taper its pandemic easy monetary policy and third-quarter earnings.

The S&P 500 gained 0.3% to snap a three-day losing streak and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.73%. Meanwhile, the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.53 points or 0.0015%.

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Investors largely reacted to the Labor Department's monthly Consumer Price Index, which showed that prices rose 0.4% in September while increasing 5.4% compared with September 2020, the greatest shift since 2008.

Excluding food and energy prices, prices increased 0.2% for September and 4% year to year.

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Additionally, minutes from the Federal Open Market Committee's September meeting indicated the central bank could begin scaling back its bond-buying program as soon as mid-November.

"Participants generally assessed that, provided that the economic recovery remained broadly on track, a gradual tapering process that concluded around the middle of next year would likely be appropriate," the minutes stated.

JPMorgan Chase stock fell 2.64% despite the company reporting quarterly profits that exceeded expectations. Shares of the bank remained up approximately 27% for the year.

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Delta also reported better than expected revenue but shares fell 5.76% as the airline said higher costs of fuel and other expenses will negatively affect its fourth-quarter bottom line.

Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Wells Fargo and Walgreens Boots Alliance are set to report earnings on Thursday.

"We think investors should fasten their seatbelts because this is going to be one rocky earnings season," Wall Street Alliance Group's Aadil Zaman told Yahoo Finance. "Supply chain issues are going to be dominating the earnings, and some companies, we are going to see, are going to give us an early Halloween shock."

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Apple stock also fell 0.42% after Bloomberg reported the company is expected to reduce production of its new iPhone 13 as a result of chip shortages.

Chipmaker Nvidia gained 1.3% amid a broader rise in tech stocks as Microsoft rose 1.17%, Amazon climbed 1.14% and Google's parent company, Alphabet, closed the day up 0.83%.

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