Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today: Apple Sets New High on Mixed Day for the Market

Stocks failed to find common direction on Wednesday as investors digested more signs of surging inflation but also signals that the Fed won't ease policy anytime soon.

Stocks endured another up-and-down session Wednesday amid a deluge of headlines, though unlike yesterday, a couple of the major indexes escaped with gains.

The latest producer price report confirmed what consumer price data told us yesterday: inflation is surging. The headline producer price index rose 1.0% month-over-month, and 7.3% year-over-year, to topple expectations. 

"This continued acceleration in prices is consistent with our view that core goods CPI will remain strong this year and continue to outperform its historical trend of the past three decades," says Barclays economist Pooja Sriram.

Regardless, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell indicated in testimony to Congress that easy monetary policies were likely to persist at least in the near term; investors keyed in on Powell's statement that "substantial further progress" in the labor market was still a ways off.

Meanwhile, banks continued their strong second-quarter earnings season, with Citigroup (C, -0.3%) and Wells Fargo (WFC, +4.0%) both beating bottom-line expectations.

Sign up for Kiplinger's FREE Investing Weekly e-letter for stock, ETF and mutual fund recommendations, and other investing advice.

And Apple (AAPL, +2.4%) hit a new high after JPMorgan added the stock to its "Focus List" amid boisterous iPhone and Mac sales. Also aiding the stock was a Bloomberg report, citing people with knowledge of the matter, saying Apple has asked suppliers to build up to 90 million next-gen iPhones, marking a significant jump from last year's shipments. AAPL shares are up more than 17% in the past month.

The major indexes enjoyed modest gains, led by the Dow Jones Industrial Average (+0.1% to 34,933). The S&P 500 also gained 0.1% to 4,374, while the Nasdaq Composite finished down 0.2% to 14,644. Small caps continued their recent struggles, with the Russell 2000 off 1.6% to 2,202.

Other action in the stock market today:

  • Delta Air Lines (DAL) gave back 1.6% in the wake of its second-quarter earnings report. For the three-month period, the major airline reported net income of $652 million, its first profit in six quarters. Excluding the $1.5 billion in federal payroll aid it received during the quarter, DAL recorded an adjusted per-share loss of $1.07, though that was slimmer than analysts were expecting. Delta's $7.1 billion in revenue also beat the consensus estimate. 
  • In non-earnings news, AMC Entertainment (AMC) continued to decline amid a broad selloff in meme stocks. AMC shed 15.0% today to bring its month-to-date loss to more than 30% (though it's still up mor ethan 1,440% for the year to date). Some other notable Reddit stocks that slumped today include GameStop (GME, -6.9%), Clean Energy Fuels (CLNE, -7.8%) and BlackBerry (BB, -3.8%).
  • U.S. crude oil futures fell 2.8% to end at $73.13 per barrel. "Oil prices have been moving lower following a report ahead of the open that Saudi Arabia has reached an agreement with the United Arab Emirates to boost their baseline," says Michael Reinking, senior market strategist for the New York Stock Exchange. "Since then, there have been multiple reports that this does not necessarily have the full support of other members yet."
  • Gold futures rose 0.8% to settle at $1,825.00 an ounce.
  • The CBOE Volatility Index (VIX) slipped 4.6% to 16.33.
  • Bitcoin rebounded 1.3% to $32,724.50. (Bitcoin trades 24 hours a day; prices reported here are as of 4 p.m. each trading day.)
stock chart for 071421

YCharts

Real Estate Keeps Raking It In

One of the S&P 500's best sectors of 2021 remains one of the few places to find high yield. The real estate sector was one of Wednesday's top gainers at 0.9%, extending its year-to-date total returns to 27.1%, behind only energy stocks (+41.0%) in 2021.

Despite that recovery after a dreadful 2020, the S&P 500 real estate sector still offers up a yield of just more than 3%, dwarfing the broader index's 1.3%. However, while most real estate investment trusts (REITs) have been red-hot this year, a few bargains remain.

Investors typically benefit by paying less for good stocks, but especially in the real estate sector, value is a potent one-two punch – not only do undervalued stocks have greater potential for price appreciation, but they also offer higher dividend yields on their original cost basis too.

Here, we have highlighted seven value-priced REITs that offer a combination of fair prices, improving profits and sturdy fundamentals.

Most Popular

4 Big Retirement Blunders (and How to Avoid Them)
retirement

4 Big Retirement Blunders (and How to Avoid Them)

It’s too bad, but financial advisers see these four mistakes all the time. Don’t fall into the same traps.
October 6, 2021
The Best Vanguard Funds for 401(k) Retirement Savers
mutual funds

The Best Vanguard Funds for 401(k) Retirement Savers

Vanguard funds account for roughly a third of the 100 most popular 401(k) retirement products. We rank Vanguard's best actively managed funds, includi…
October 8, 2021
13 States That Tax Social Security Benefits
social security

13 States That Tax Social Security Benefits

You may have dreamed of a tax-free retirement, but if you live in these 13 states, your Social Security benefits are subject to a state tax. That's on…
October 4, 2021

Recommended

Stock Market Today (10/20/21): Dow, S&P 500 on the Verge of Fresh Highs
Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today (10/20/21): Dow, S&P 500 on the Verge of Fresh Highs

The third-quarter earnings season continues to largely surprise to the upside, with Abbott Labs, Anthem and Verizon helping to drive Wednesday's gains…
October 20, 2021
Stock Market Today (10/19/21): S&P 500, Nasdaq Nab Fifth Straight Win
Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today (10/19/21): S&P 500, Nasdaq Nab Fifth Straight Win

A solid round of blue-chip earnings lifted the collective mood on Wall Street.
October 19, 2021
7 Best Transportation Stocks to Buy Now
stocks

7 Best Transportation Stocks to Buy Now

Investors searching for opportunity amid the world's supply-chain woes would be wise to explore these seven transportation stocks.
October 19, 2021
Stock Market Today (10/18/21): Tech, Consumer Stocks Carry Nasdaq Higher
Stock Market Today

Stock Market Today (10/18/21): Tech, Consumer Stocks Carry Nasdaq Higher

Disappointing China GDP and industrial production weighed on stocks early Monday, but the S&P 500 and Nasdaq finished higher on the back of Tesla, Fac…
October 18, 2021