US open: Stocks trade higher following PCE figures
Wall Street trading got off to a positive on Friday as market participants digested a fresh inflation reading at the start of what will be the final session of Q1.
As of 1530 BST, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.48% at 33,015.50, while the S&P 500 advanced 0.47% to 4,069.99 and the Nasdaq Composite came out the gate 0.55% firmer at 12,079.10.
The Dow opened 156.47 points higher on Friday, extending gains recorded in the previous session as banking concerns showed further signs of easing.
Friday's primary focus was news that US inflation fell in February, according to the Commerce Department, which said the price deflator for personal consumption expenditures rose 0.3% month-on-month - below expectations of 0.5%. On the year, the index rose 5.0% in February, down from 5.3% growth in January.
Core PCE, the Federal Reserve's preferred gauge of inflation, also fell to, 4.6% on the year from 4.7% and 0.3% on the month, down from 0.5%. The figures also showed that consumer spending had ticked up just 0.2% month-on-month in February, down from 2% the month before.
Elsewhere on the macro front, the Institute for Supply Management's Chicago purchasing managers index increased to 43.80 points in March, up from 43.60 points in February to beat forecasts for a reading of 43.4. However, the reading still pointed to a seventh straight month of contraction in business activity.
On another note, the University of Michigan's monthly consumer sentiment index was revised lower to 62 in March, down from a preliminary reading of 67 as consumer sentiment fell for the first time in four months, showing signs that consumers increasingly expect a recession in the near future. Meanwhile, inflation expectations for the year were revised lower to 3.6% from 3.8% in the preliminary estimate and the five-year outlook was revised up to 2.9% from 2.8%
Federal Reserve bankers Christopher Waller, John Williams, and Lisa Cook will all deliver speeches on Friday.
Reporting by Iain Gilbert at Sharecast.com