US markets head higher in face of more grim inflation news

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks were modestly higher early Friday on Wall Street, despite news that closely watched inflation data jumped by the most in four decades last month. The S&P 500 and the technology-weighted Nasdaq are each on track to end July with the biggest gains since November 2020.

Investors were buoyed by positive earnings news out of technology giants Apple and Amazon, as well as oil giants Exxon and Chevron.

The S&P 500 index was up 0.9% as of 10:05 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.4% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq Composite was up 1.2%.

Oil giants Exxon and Chevron posted record quarterly profits last quarter amid high oil and gas prices. The two companies made $46 billion last quarter and roughly four times the amount of money those two companies made in the same period a year earlier.

Amazon shares jumped 11% after the company posted a quarterly loss, but its revenue jumped sharply in the quarter.

Apple shares were more than 3% after its quarterly earnings were better than Wall Street expected. Apple saw its profit for the April-June period decline by 10% while revenue edged up 2% as it grappled with manufacturing headaches and inflation pressures.

An inflation gauge that is closely tracked by the Federal Reserve jumped 6.8% in June from a year ago, the biggest increase in four decades, and leaving Americans with no relief from surging costs. On a month-to-month basis, inflation accelerated to 1% in June from May’s 0.6% monthly increase.

The figures underscored the persistence of the inflation that is eroding Americans’ purchasing power, dimming their confidence in the economy and threatening Democrats in Congress in the run-up to the November midterm elections.