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Dow Inches Upward as Investors Anticipate Inflation Data Impact on Fed’s Next Move

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged higher on Monday as investors awaited forthcoming inflation figures that could influence the Federal Reserve’s stance on interest rates.

By 4:00 PM ET (9:00 PM GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 46 points, or 0.1%, while the S&P 500 slipped 0.1% and the NASDAQ Composite declined 0.4%.

Eyes on CPI Data for Rate Direction

All eyes are on the consumer price index (CPI) data scheduled for release on Tuesday, which is expected to provide insights into the trajectory of U.S. interest rates and the overall economy.

Following two consecutive months of robust CPI readings, analysts anticipate a moderation in inflation, though the core annual figure is projected to remain comfortably above the Fed’s 2% target.

The likelihood of a rate hike in May has dwindled in light of robust employment figures, with June now appearing to be the favored timeline for the first rate cut, according to UBS analysts.

Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell, alongside other central bank officials, emphasized the need for further evidence of weakening inflation before considering adjustments to interest rates.

Market Anticipation for Retail Sales and Economic Indicators

Investors are also anticipating Thursday’s retail sales data for February, forecasted to rebound by 0.8% after a similar decline in the previous month. Additionally, updates on industrial production, consumer sentiment, and weekly initial jobless claims data are on the economic calendar.

Market Moves and Corporate Developments

Choice Hotels International (NYSE:CHH) saw a 5.6% increase in its stock price after terminating its takeover bid for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts (NYSE:WH), citing insufficient shareholder support. Meanwhile, Boeing (NYSE:BA) faced a 3% decline following reports of a criminal investigation by the U.S. Justice Department into a mid-air fuselage breach on one of its 737 Max jets.

In the corporate arena, Bally’s Corp (NYSE:BALY) experienced a 28% surge after receiving a $15 per share bid from Standard General. Equitrans Midstream (NYSE:ETRN) jumped 1.5% after EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT) announced plans to repurchase its former pipeline unit in an all-stock deal.

Mixed Performance in Crypto Stocks

Cryptocurrency-related stocks showed mixed performance as Coinbase Global Inc (NASDAQ:COIN) closed nearly 1% lower, while MicroStrategy Incorporated (NASDAQ:MSTR) surged amid Bitcoin’s fresh record high. Regulatory developments and anticipation surrounding the upcoming halvening event have supported bullish sentiment in the crypto market.

Market Movers: Oracle Surges, Acadia Plummets, Asana Holds, Vail Retreats, Advance Auto Parts Climbs

Oracle’s (NYSE:ORCL) stock surged by 10% following its report of revenue in line with consensus expectations and a slight beat on EPS for the last quarter.

Acadia Pharma (ACAD) experienced a 15% decline subsequent to the release of top-line results from the Phase 3 ADVANCE-2 trial assessing pimavanserin for the treatment of negative symptoms of schizophrenia. Unfortunately, pimavanserin failed to exhibit a statistically significant improvement over the placebo.

Asana, Inc. (ASAN) saw a modest 1% uptick after marginally surpassing EPS and revenue forecasts for the fourth quarter of 2023.

Vail Resorts (NYSE:MTN) faced a 6% downturn after disappointing results were disclosed for its second quarter.

Advance Auto Parts, Inc. (NYSE:AAP) witnessed a 3% rise, building on earlier gains, following confirmation of rumors that it had entered into a cooperation agreement with activist hedge funds Third Point and Saddle Point Management.

Rosenblatt Forecasts Qualcomm’s Snapdragon as Key Player in AI-Focused Computing Platforms

Analysts at Rosenblatt predict that Qualcomm’s (NASDAQ:QCOM) Snapdragon suite of integrated circuit semiconductor products for mobile devices will emerge as a dominant force in the upcoming era of artificial intelligence-focused computing platforms.

In a client note issued on Monday, Rosenblatt raised their price target for San Diego-based chipmaker Qualcomm to $200 from $170. They highlighted the pivotal role of this computing category in driving the advancement of generative AI, a cutting-edge technology that leverages input data to generate similar new content.

Recent insights shared by Rosenblatt indicate a significant uptick in shipments of Samsung’s (KS:005930) Galaxy S24 smartphone, which is powered by a Snapdragon Gen 3 mobile processor featuring generative AI. Comparatively, these shipments are 13% higher than those of the older S23 model from last year.

Furthermore, Rosenblatt anticipates that personal computers equipped with the Snapdragon X Elite chip will integrate AI capabilities into products like Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Surface Laptop 6 and Samsung’s Galaxy Book4 Edge.

In essence, Rosenblatt’s analysis suggests that Qualcomm’s Snapdragon is poised to lead the charge in the next wave of computing platforms, particularly in the realm of AI-focused technologies.

Investing wisely is akin to a game of chess with your finances—requiring strategic maneuvers, forward-thinking, and the ability to anticipate moves. It’s not about flashy bets or impulsive decisions but rather about crafting a balanced portfolio, staying rational, and recognizing when to make calculated moves. So, dust off your metaphorical chessboard and let’s navigate the financial landscape with a blend of wit and shrewdness!