Wednesday Mid-Day Movers: 3 Stories Driving Markets

The markets were mixed on Wednesday afternoon:

At 12:20 p.m.: DJIA: -0.18%, S&P 500: -0.03%, NASDAQ: +0.20%.

Here are three stories framing the markets on Wednesday afternoon:

1) Despite a rebound in financial markets since the depths of the credit crisis four years ago, economies around the world are still in dire need of growth. According to the World Bank’s latest Global Economic Prospects report, the global economy remains fragile, as high-income countries continue to experience slow growth and volatility. As a result, the organization cut its forecast for global gross domestic product across the board… (Read more.)

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2) The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers was unchanged in December, according to the most recent report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Before seasonal adjustment, the all-items index is up 1.7 percent for the past 12 months. The CPI-U is a convenient proxy for inflation, and given the most-recent reading, market participants can assume that the Federal Reserve’s easy-money policy hasn’t yet overheated the economy. Last month, the Fed indicated that it would continue buying assets in order to keep interest rates low as long as the inflation rate stayed below 2.5 percent… (Read more.)

3) Industrial production increased 0.3 percent in December, following a 1.0 percent advance in November. Manufacturing production (unsurprisingly including automobile assembly) increased 0.8 percent for the month, following a 1.3 percent gain in November. These numbers, reported by the Federal Reserve on Wednesday, suggest ongoing strength in America’s manufacturing sector. However, the report also shows that utilities fell.

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