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US Inflation Soars in February

April 12, 2022
Rising fuel prices, new car prices spike though used-car prices moderate.

Wall Street stocks pushed higher early Tuesday despite another report of soaring U.S. inflation that strengthens the chance for more aggressive Federal Reserve interest rate hikes.

The consumer price index jumped 8.5 in March compared with a year ago, with prices climbing 1.2% over February's level.

The report was the first to fully encompass the shock caused by Russia's invasion of Ukraine and the West's sanctions against Moscow, which have caused energy and food prices to spike worldwide.

The figures offer a grim picture for consumers, although investors appeared to be embracing a "peak inflation" narrative based on the idea that pricing pressures will soon ease. And in fact the data showed used car prices fell in the month.

About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.9% at 34,606.34.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 1.1 percent to 4,459.74, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 1.5% to 13,615.90.

The early gains were a reversal of broad losses on Monday when the White House had warned of "extraordinarily elevated" inflation for March.

Among individual companies, American Airlines dipped 0.5% as the big carrier projected slightly better revenues for the first quarter, but also said fuel costs had risen more than expected.

Copyright 2022, Agence France-Presse

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