Stock Market Today: Stocks Close Lower Ahead of August CPI Report

The main indexes were choppy Tuesday as investors looked ahead to August inflation data and the Arm IPO.

Apple CEO Tim Cook in front of digitized Apple logo
(Image credit: NIC COURY/AFP via Getty Images)

Stocks struggled for direction Tuesday as investors looked ahead to Wednesday's critical inflation update and took in an onslaught of headlines from the tech sector. 

Notably, mega-cap tech stock Apple (AAPL) continued its recent price struggles as the company unveiled its latest line of iPhones at an annual product event. 

The bulk of today's attention swirled around expectations for tomorrow morning's release of the August Consumer Price Index (CPI).  Many experts believe headline CPI accelerated in August as gas prices jumped. However, the core CPI reading, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, is expected to decline on an annual basis vs July's figure.

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"This is one of the last pieces of key economic data ahead of the Fed's rate decision and I think it would take a shockingly hot number to push the Fed to hike next week," says Michael Reinking, senior market strategist at the New York Stock Exchange.

Indeed, futures traders are currently pricing in a 93% chance the Federal Reserve will keep interest rates unchanged at next week's meeting, according to CME Group.

Arm prepares to go public in blockbuster IPO

Tuesday's headlines were not solely centered on tomorrow's inflation data, though. Also in focus was Arm – the Softbank-owned chipmaker that was once a buyout target of Nvidia (NVDA) – given the company is set to go public this Thursday. Demand for what is arguably the most anticipated upcoming IPO of the year is so high that Arm stopped taking orders Tuesday – a day ahead of schedule. 

The Arm IPO is expected to be priced tomorrow at a range of $47 to $51 per share, which would result in $5 billion in new capital for the company and a roughly $54.5 billion valuation. 

However, David Trainer, CEO of New Constructs, a research firm powered by artificial intelligence, says this offering creates "a valuation that is completely disconnected from the company’s fundamentals." 

Stay away from this IPO, Trainer warns investors, "as we see very limited upside ahead, as there are plenty of other companies in the tech sector that offer investors growth, but at a reasonable valuation."

Apple stock slips after September event

Also on investors' radar Tuesday was Apple (AAPL), which slid 1.7% as the company unveiled new products at its annual September event. In addition to the iPhone 15 series, the tech giant debuted its latest smartwatch iterations, including the Apple Watch 9.

Meanwhile, amid this week's relatively light earnings calendar, Oracle (ORCL) plunged 13.5% after the cloud software company revealed its results. While Oracle reported higher-than-expected fiscal first-quarter earnings of $1.19 per share, revenue of $12.45 billion fell short of estimates. Additionally, the company forecast lower-than-anticipated fiscal Q2 results.

As for the major indexes, the Dow Jones Industrial Average finished marginally lower at 34,645, while the S&P 500 (-0.6% at 4,461) and the Nasdaq Composite (-1.0% at 13,773) suffered bigger losses. 

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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.