Stock Market Today: Stocks Close Mixed After Sizzling U.K. Inflation Update

Investors also focused on today's onslaught of earnings reports, including mixed results for streaming giant Netflix.

British flag with inflation spelled out on dice
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Stocks spent most of Wednesday in the red, weighed down by dreary U.K. inflation data and mixed earnings from Netflix (NFLX). However, the major indexes came off their lows as the session wore on, with one of the three benchmarks closing in positive territory. 

Data from the U.K. today showed that consumer prices were up 10.1% year-over-year in March. While this was a slightly slower pace than February's 10.4% increase, it was higher than economists were expecting. Core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, was unchanged at 6.2%.

"The heat has been turned down on the bubbling cauldron of prices, but inflation is still scalding and interest rates look set to be pushed up again to try and cool it down rapidly," says Susannah Streeter, head of money and markets at Hargreaves Lansdown. "This insidious drain on wealth, and the worry that it's not temporary given that core inflation, stripping out volatile energy and food prices, remains so sticky means it's more likely that another interest rate rise of 0.25% is on the way from the Bank of England next month." 

Subscribe to Kiplinger’s Personal Finance

Be a smarter, better informed investor.

Save up to 74%

Sign up for Kiplinger’s Free E-Newsletters

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice on investing, taxes, retirement, personal finance and more - straight to your e-mail.

Profit and prosper with the best of expert advice - straight to your e-mail.

Sign up

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

Meanwhile, on the earnings front, streaming giant Netflix stock fell 3.2% after reporting its first-quarter results. The company disclosed earnings of $2.88 per share on $8.2 billion in revenue, beating on the bottom line, but falling short of top-line estimates. NFLX also added 1.75 million subscribers over the three-month period. What likely disappointed investors, however, was news that Netflix is delaying its password-sharing crackdown in the U.S. to Q2 from Q1. The move will push back a portion of the expected membership and revenue growth to Q3.

Elsewhere, Intuitive Surgical (ISRG) jumped 10.9% after the da Vinci Surgical System maker reported first-quarter earnings of $1.23 per share on $1.7 billion in revenue due in part to a 26% year-over-year jump in procedure growth, easily beating analysts' estimates.  

In non-earning news, Meta Platforms (META) slipped 1.0% after a judge in California preliminarily approved a $725 million settlement in a class action lawsuit brought against the Facebook parent over the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The data privacy suit alleges Facebook allowed users' data to be viewed and/or shared by third parties without their consent, most notably the now-defunct British political consulting firm.  

As for the major indexes, the Nasdaq Composite eked out a marginal gain at 12,157, while the S&P 500 ended fractionally lower at 4,154 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average slipped 0.2% to 33,897.

Will tech stocks continue to outperform?

Today's outperformance from the Nasdaq just mirrors a wider trend seen this year. "Investors in tech stocks these days are a wildly happy bunch," says Mike Dickson, head of research at Charlotte-based asset management firm Horizon Investments. Looking at the numbers, the Nasdaq is up more than 16% for the year-to-date, easily outpacing the S&P 500's roughly 8% gain and the Dow's 2% return. 

But will this momentum continue? Only time will tell, but Dickson believes a main driver of future price action will be the onslaught of tech firms gracing the earnings calendar over the next several weeks. These results will give a snapshot into "expected growth and the likely impact of tighter credit conditions on tech firms," he adds. Investors willing to play the hot hand of the market should continue to focus on high-quality companies, like those found among the best AI stocks or the best semiconductor stocks.

Karee Venema
Contributing Editor,

With over a decade of experience writing about the stock market, Karee Venema is an investing editor and options expert at She joined the publication in April 2021 after 10 years of working as an investing writer and columnist at Schaeffer's Investment Research. In her previous role, Karee focused primarily on options trading, as well as technical, fundamental and sentiment analysis.