Live Stock Market Updates: Inflation and More

This is what you need to know:.

Gasoline prices rose 6.4 percent in February, according to the Department of Labor…credit…Benjamin Rasmussen for The New York Times….

Inflation rose only slightly in February, thanks to an increase in gasoline prices that added 0.4% to the overall consumer price index.

Excluding volatile food and energy categories, the index rose 0.1 percent, the Labor Department said Wednesday morning. With the prospect of faster economic growth on the horizon, investors and market watchers are very concerned about the risk of higher inflation, although most have yet to see this risk materialize.

The Biden administration’s impending approval of a $1.9 trillion stimulus package. The $200,000 made these concerns even greater. Some fear that money will flow into an economy that is already ready to heat up when stores reopen in the spring and the pandemic subsides through widespread vaccination.

In February alone, gasoline prices rose 6.4%. Overall, however, data were in line with expectations, suggesting that inflation remains under control despite recent increases in commodity prices, such as those of oil and copper.

Barring a further rise in energy prices in February, consumer price inflation remains very low, said Kathy Bostjancic, senior US financial economist at Oxford Economics.

In the longer term, inflation is a problem because it lowers the value of assets, especially stocks and bonds. The rise in bond yields in recent weeks, correlated with inflation fears, contributed to a pullback on Wall Street, especially in high-tech stocks.

Moreover, it will be difficult to suppress inflation, as it was in the 1970s, when the US economy was plagued by runaway inflation.

But conditions are very different now than they were then, and most leading economists doubt that sustained inflationary growth will last. The Federal Reserve, tasked with maintaining price stability, has signaled that it wants to support the economy and will not tighten monetary policy in the near term.

The talk of inflation has shifted to concerns about rising prices, said Rubeela Farooqi, chief US economist at High Frequency Economics. The Fed views the price reaction to the economic recovery as temporary and unlikely to cause too much disruption, as sustained inflationary pressures are not expected.

A jet engine at GE’s aircraft engine repair facility in Petropolis, Rio de Janeiro, in 2016. Credit…Yasuyoshi Chiba/ Agence France-Presse – Getty Images

General Electric announced Wednesday that it will sell its aircraft leasing unit to rival AerCap in a deal that will reshape an aviation sector already transformed by the coronavirus pandemic.

The $30 billion deal would merge the world’s two largest aircraft leasing companies and create a behemoth that owns or operates about one in six leased aircraft in the world, according to aviation data company Cirium. If the sale is approved, the combined company would have about 300 customers and more than 2,000 aircraft in its portfolio worldwide, AerCap said in a statement.

The sale of the unit, GE Capital Aviation Services, could give the new entity even greater bargaining power vis-à-vis aircraft manufacturers Boeing and Airbus and the airlines to which AerCap and G.E. lease aircraft. It will also support G.E.’s annual efforts to streamline operations and reduce debt.

Over the years, G.E. focused on its core industrial business and divested itself of the financial activities of G.E. Capital, which included an aircraft leasing division. From the end of 2018 to the end of 2020, the value of G.E. Capital fell from $86 billion to $68 billion. If the sale of AerCap goes through, the financial division will shrink to $21 billion.

I hope what you see here this morning is really a great catalyst for the transformation of G.E., Chairman and CEO H. Lawrence Culp Jr. said during a conference call with investors and analysts.

If the deal is approved, G.E. would also reduce its debt by more than $70 billion as of the end of 2018, G.E.’s chief financial officer said by phone. Carolina Dybeck Happe.

Under the terms of the agreement, which was approved by the boards of directors of both companies, G.E. will receive more than 111 million AerCap shares, $24 billion in cash and $1 billion in AerCap bonds or cash. The transaction is expected to close within nine to 12 months, subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

G.E. is expected to own approximately 46% of the merged company and will have the right to appoint two directors to the board of AerCap, which is based in Dublin.

Wall Street shares rose Wednesday after monthly U.S. inflation data met economists’ expectations and bond yields stabilized.

Investors and policymakers are watching inflation closely and waiting to see where it goes. After years of very low inflation, some economists and investors say excessive fiscal stimulus during the pandemic recovery could lead to an overheated economy and higher prices. However, many central bankers argue that long-term disinflationary forces are at play and that the rise in inflation is likely to be temporary.

Inflation rose slightly last month as higher gasoline prices pushed up the overall consumer price index by 0.4%. Excluding volatile food and energy categories, the I.P.C. rose 0.1 percent, the Labor Department said Wednesday morning.

Economists surveyed by Bloomberg predicted a 0.4 percent increase in the main price index and a 0.2 percent increase in the core index, which excludes food and energy costs.

U.S. stocks, particularly technology stocks, are concerned about rising bond yields for a number of reasons, including that higher interest rates increase the cost of borrowing and impact the value of a company’s future earnings.

The S&P 500 Index rose about 0.5 percent Wednesday, following a 1.4 percent gain on Tuesday. The Nasdaq Composite rose more than 1%, extending Tuesday’s strong gains. The interest rate on 10-year US Treasuries remained unchanged at 1.54%.


  • The Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.5%, while the FTSE 100 remained flat.
  • Online food delivery service Just Eat Takeaway has become one of the biggest players in the UK’s FTSE 100 index. Shares rose 5 percent after the company reported that revenue rose 54 percent last year. It also said it expects to maintain its market share this year, even after opening restaurants, and complete its acquisition of Grubhub in the first half of the year.
  • The European Central Bank begins a two-day meeting on monetary policy on Wednesday. Just like in the US, bond yields are rising in Europe. The 10-year yield in Germany is minus 0.3%. Policymakers are considering whether to take action to prevent yields from rising too high. Some analysts say the central bank could announce a plan on Thursday to increase the pace of bond purchases in an effort to bring down yields.


  • Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index closed 0.5% higher and Japan’s Nikkei 225 ended the day virtually unchanged.
  • Cathay Pacific shares fell after the Hong Kong-based airline reported a $2.8 billion loss in 2020. The company’s stock price has declined approximately 30% since the end of 2019. The airline cut 8,500 jobs last year.

The U.S. bailout plan, which was approved by the Senate over the weekend and is now back in the House, would pump $1.9 trillion into the economy.

New York Times financial experts Ron Lieber and Tara Siegel Bernard took a closer look at the bill to explain what it means for people in practical terms. Here are some of the questions they answer:

The selection of Bob Sternfels as McKinsey’s global managing partner comes just weeks after the firm’s partners effectively ousted Kevin Sneider from the leadership of the firm. linked to credit Arnd Wigman/Reuters

McKinsey & Company partners have chosen Bob Sternfels as their new global chief executive, the consulting giant announced Wednesday, as it tries to recover from a series of scandals that have tarnished its reputation in recent years.

The choice of Mr. Sternfels, 51, comes just weeks after McKinsey partners effectively removed Kevin Sneijder from the firm’s leadership. The disqualification of Mr. Sneader, who did not run for the final vote, marks the first time in decades that a McKinsey executive has not been re-elected.

When Snider took office in 2018, he faced controversy over the firm’s role in the governance of a South African state energy company, followed by criticism of his work with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and conflicts of interest in his bankruptcy practice.

Mr. Sternfels will now inherit the blow of the consulting firm’s agreement to pay nearly $600 million to settle the investigation into his role in the opioid crisis. A settlement with 49 states and the District of Columbia related to McKinsey’s advice to drug manufacturers to boost opioid sales.

One of the recent controversies was the work of the company that advised the French government on the introduction of a vaccine against the coronavirus, which was deemed too slow.

One of Mr. Sternfels’ most pressing internal priorities is to strengthen oversight of the 650-member partnership, which has traditionally operated with a considerable degree of autonomy and has sometimes resisted attempts to impose a more central authority.

Mr. Sternfels has been with McKinsey in San Francisco for 26 years and leads the firm’s client practice. He defeated Sven Smith, an Amsterdam-based partner and co-chair of the McKinsey Global Institute, the firm’s research arm.

In his speech, Sternfels said he is determined to build on the important changes Kevin helped initiate, our partnerships and the good work our firm does with our clients and in the community.

Marathon Petroleum plans to sell its Speedway convenience store business to the owner of 7-Eleven.Credit…Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In a months-long contract dispute with Marathon Petroleum, the Teamsters union has objected to the company’s $21 billion deal to sell its Speedway business for convenience stores to store owner 7-Eleven, reports DealBook exclusively. His efforts are aimed in part at getting the Biden administration to tighten antitrust laws and exert a more favorable influence on unions – and at pitting the union against Elliott Management, the giant hedge fund that helped make the proposed sale possible.

The group has asked the Federal Trade Commission to suspend its investigation of the transaction. In a letter sent Wednesday to the agency’s acting president, Rebecca Slaughter, the union urged the FTC to wait for one of two things:

  • Congress approves a bill by Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, that makes sweeping changes to antitrust rules. The legislation would change the framework used by the FTT to assess a transaction and would allow the regulator to reject transactions on the basis of potential competitive harm, rather than determining that they would cause such harm.
  • Or at least until the Authority is satisfied that all effects of the transaction on competition have been fully taken into account and eliminated.

There are other problems too. Marathon locked out 200 union members at a Minnesota oil refinery. And unions have often had strained relations with activist hedge funds like Elliott, who have accused them of demanding layoffs that affect union members. (In its letter to the F.T.C., the Teamsters Union criticized what it called Elliott’s one-time desire to liquidate Marathon’s assets to fund a massive share buyback and special dividend.)

But the agency is well advanced in its investigation. Marathon executives, who hope to close the deal by the end of the first quarter, confirmed by phone to analysts last month that they had responded to a second FTC request for information and were working on solutions. (Speedway’s putative buyer, Seven and I Holdings, reportedly plans to sell up to 300 gas stations to meet the agency’s objections.)

The FTC must adhere to the statutory deadlines for reviewing transactions, which means that the agency can only defer review for a certain period of time, even if it chooses to do so. And it is not known whether Mrs. Klobuchar will pass the bill, or in what form.

Joe Donlon interviewed President Donald J. Clinton for the first time. Trump in September on NewsNation. The show has since grown into a network.

The editor-in-chief of NewsNation, a newcomer to the world of unbiased, candid cable television news, has resigned. She is the third editor to resign in recent months as some staff members complained about a shift to the right at the station.

Jennifer Lyons, NewsNation’s vice president of news, has decided to leave the network effective immediately, employees were told at a meeting Tuesday.

Sandy Pudar, news director, left us on February 2, and Richard Maginn, managing editor, resigned on February 1. Back in March.

Ms. Lyons did not respond to a request for comment. A spokesman for Texas-based Nexstar Media, which owns NewsNation, said in a statement that Lyons had decided to leave the company and that a search for her replacement was underway.

During a staff meeting Tuesday in Chicago, Nexstar CEO Perry A. Suk sought to reassure employees of his involvement with NewsNation after several employees expressed concerns about the editorial direction and involvement of Bill Shine, the former Fox News co-chairman who was hired as Trump’s White House communications director. Staff concerns were outlined in a New York Times article earlier this week.

Despite what you read to the contrary, we are committed to the vision of unbiased reporting, he said at the meeting, according to a recording of the remarks that The New York Times obtained. But of course there will be growing pains along the way. For our product to evolve and our audience to grow, we need to try new things to be successful.

Suk, who was asked about Shine by a staff member, said he was not in the NewsNation building and did not dictate the content.

This man was in the room where it happened 25 years ago and helped build the channel where it is today, Suk told Fox News of Shine’s experience. Why not benefit from his experience?

NewsNewsNation launched on Sept. 1 as a national primetime news program on cable channel WGN America. It promised an antidote to the more biased programs of CNN, Fox News and MSNBC. On 1. In March, WGN America was renamed NewsNation and new newsletters were introduced.

Lina Khan, an assistant professor at Columbia Law School, wrote an influential article in 2016 accusing Amazon of abusing its power. related to the Lexi Swall credit for the New York Times.

WASHINGTON – President Biden is expected to give Lina Khan, a law professor and leading critic of tech industry power, a seat on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a person familiar with the decision said Tuesday.

The appointment of Ms. Hahn, author of a landmark 2016 article in the Yale Law Journal accusing Amazon of abusing its monopoly power, would be the latest sign of the Biden administration’s willingness to take an aggressive stance against tech giants like Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Last week, the government announced that Tim Wu, another prominent industry critic, would join the National Economic Council as special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy.

Ms. Hahn recently served as an adviser to the House Antitrust Subcommittee and was one of the aides leading a 19-month investigation into the tech giants’ monopoly power. The committee issued a report calling for sweeping changes to the antitrust laws. She previously worked as an assistant to Rohit Chopra, a member of the Federal Trade Commission, who supports her ideas on antitrust policy.

Ms. Khan, an associate professor at Columbia Law School, will occupy one of the Democrats’ three seats in the F.T.C. In December, the Commission filed a lawsuit against Facebook, accusing it of violating antitrust laws and demanding that the company be broken up. The agency is also investigating Amazon for antitrust violations.

The rumor of Ms. Khan’s appointment, which was previously reported by Politico, immediately sparked heated reactions on Tuesday. Public Citizen, a left-leaning nonprofit advocacy group, supported the possibility. The organization and many progressive groups have condemned the history of the F.T.C. – particularly under the Obama administration – for clumsily lobbying tech companies. They say the federal government’s tolerant attitude toward mergers of tech giants, including Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014, has helped Silicon Valley companies grow rapidly and dominate their competitors.

The FTC has failed to address corporate abuses of power, including egregious antitrust violations, privacy breaches, data security breaches, and mergers. His appointment as commissioner of the authority will hopefully usher in a new day, Public Citizen said in a statement.

Senator Mike Lee of Utah, the lead Republican on the Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, said Ms. Hahn was not qualified for the job.

Their views on antitrust enforcement are also far from a prudent approach to the law, Lee said in a statement. Ms. Hahn’s appointment would indicate that President Biden wants ideology and politics to take precedence over competent antitrust enforcement, which would be particularly disappointing at a time when it is essential that we have strong and effective enforcement leadership.

frequently asked questions

Do stock prices rise with inflation?

Value stocks do better in times of high inflation, and growth stocks do better in times of low inflation. When inflation rises, income-oriented or high-yield stocks usually fall. Equities generally seem to be more volatile in times of high inflation.

Will the stock market continue to rise?

Stocks will continue to rise as economy recovers The growing economy bodes well for corporate profits, which analysts say will rise by an average of 21% in 2021, according to S&P Capital IQ. Some analysts are quite optimistic.

What is the best site for stock market news?

Our list of the best stock market websites is not topped by any other than The Motley Fool, a leading stock market platform that has been offering investment advisory products and services since 1993.

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