FINANCIAL NEWS

Stocks Rebound on Report Showing Low Inflation

Stock markets today rebounded from yesterday’s brutal session after a report showed that prices at the consumer level have yet to present any significant signs of inflation.

The Dow made back about a third of the losses it suffered yesterday, rising 62.59 points or 0.59 percent, to 10,673.79.

Apple Stock Soars

Tech stocks saw a far more modest bounce amid a report from Standard & Poors predicting far slower growth for the chip sector in 2005 than previously forecast. The Nasdaq rose just 0.93 points, or 0.05 percent, to 2,031.25. The S&P 500 rose 6.58 points, or 0.56 percent, to 1,190.80.

A rare bright spot in the tech sector was Apple, which saw its shares rise more than 3 percent after announcing four new versions of its hugely popular iPod portable music player.

Clearing the way for the overall uptick was a report from the Labor Department that the Consumer Price Index edged up just 0.1 percent last month, alleviating fears that inflation would be more prevalent in the retail-level report.

Future Shock

Analysts were quick to say the tame CPI did not indicate that inflation was no longer a threat, however, and noted that energy costs will likely push the index higher this and next month and that the continued weakness of the dollar could contribute to inflationary conditions.

Oil prices, which were blamed in part for yesterday’s sell-off, cooled only slightly, with futures losing 25 cents to US$51.17.

The dollar, which was blamed for the oil price spike, regained some ground against overseas currencies, climbing 0.3 percent against the euro and 0.7 percent versus the yen. Boosting the greenback was a clarification of the plans by the Bank of Korea to diversify its currency holdings and a report on Japanese trade data that was not as bullish as had been forecast.

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