Stocks finished higher on Wednesday after investors got some reassurance from government data showing only modest inflation, and the minutes from the Federal Reserve's last meeting contained nothing scary about the pace of future rate increases.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 62.59 points, or 0.6 percent, to close at 10,673.79. The Standard & Poor's 500 index advanced 6.64 points, or 0.6 percent, to end at 1,190.80. The Nasdaq Composite Index gained 0.93 points, or 0.1 percent, to finish at 2,031.25.
Consumer prices edged up just 0.1 percent in January as energy costs went down significantly for the second straight month. Analysts said the data suggests consumer inflation remains very much under control.
And Federal Reserve policy-makers suggested that short-term interest rates may still be too low to keep inflation from becoming a problem. The pace of any future increases, though, would depend on the unfolding economic climate, according to minutes of the Fed's February meeting released Wednesday.
Among local companies, shares of Skechers USA Inc. rose 7.4 percent to close at $15.84 after the Manhattan Beach-based footwear maker announced quarterly earnings. Skechers reported fourth-quarter net income of $2.2 million (5 cents per diluted share), compared with a loss of $12.3 million (33 cents) in the year-ago period. Sales rose to $206.5 million from $175.3 million in the year-ago period.
And Big 5 Sporting Goods Corp. gained 6.2 percent to $24.58 after the El Segundo-based sporting goods retailer's stock rating was raised to "outperform" from "market perform" by Piper Jaffray & Co.
Shares of Westlake Village-based Diodes Inc. fell 4 percent to close at $23.92 after the Westlake Village-based semiconductor manufacturer announced that it had signed a distribution agreement with Rutronik Electronic Components GmbH, one of the biggest independent distributors of electromechanical components in Europe. Financial terms and specifics of the agreement were not disclosed.
For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.