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U.S. markets close flat as more positive inflation data rolls in

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 27 points Thursday as markets closed mixed amid two consecutive days of positive inflation data. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/4599a218731f529730860620cf2768eb/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 27 points Thursday as markets closed mixed amid two consecutive days of positive inflation data. File Photo by John Angelillo/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 11 (UPI) -- U.S. markets closed almost flat Thursday as the July Producer Price Index reflected better-than-expected inflation numbers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 27.16 points, or 0.082%, while the S&P 500 fell 0.071% and the Nasdaq Composite closed the day down 0.58%.

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Stocks rallied after release of the July PPI report, which showed a surprise decline of 0.5% from June compared to analysts' expectations of 0.2%. It also showed that final demand prices increased 9.8% from July 2021.

The news followed the Commerce Department's July Consumer Price Index, which showed on Wednesday that consumer prices in the United States were virtually unchanged from June to July as gas prices declined.

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Gas prices continued to fall Thursday as the national average reached $3.99 per gallon, falling below $4 for the first time since march, according to AAA.

Thursday's rally, however, waned as the day went on, with investors looking ahead to expected interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve in coming months.

"Investors, while they're relieved that inflation is declining, it doesn't change the fact that Federal Reserve will continue to be hiking rates," said Wayne Wicker, chief investment officer at Mission Square retirement.

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"I'm not quite sure at this juncture that people want to give the all-clear sign, but I do think sentiment is much better than it was, 60 days ago."

Weighing on investors were negative jobs data as unemployment claims rose to 262,000 last week, their highest levels in nine months.

Shares of Disney rose 4.59% to lift the markets after the company posted better-than-expected earnings and announced that its Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ streaming services surpassed Netflix in subscribers for the first time.

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