Equity Brief: US Indices Hit Record Highs as Powell Sticks to the Dovish Script
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- Broad US indices closed at record levels, though the tech-heavy NASDAQ 100 edged lower on the day.
- Industrial stocks (XLI) were the strongest sector on the day; REITs (XLRE) were the weakest.
- US data: CPI (June) came in generally as expected at 1.6% y/y, though “core” CPI (excluding energy and food costs) beat slightly at 2.1% y/y vs. 2.0% eyed. Separately, initial jobless claims dropped to 209k, signaling continued strength in the labor market.
- Fed Chairman Powell reiterated his dovish comments from yesterday, citing global uncertainties from trade policy and noting that the central bank must not fall behind the curve like the BOJ.
- Stocks on the move:
- Stocks like Cigna (CI, +9%), CVSHealth (CVS, +5%), and UnitedHealth (UNH, +6%) rallied on news that the Trump Administration was abandoning a play to curb rebates to pharmacy benefit managers.
- Retailer Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY) reported a large impairment loss last night, taking the stock down 3% today.
- Weight Watchers International (WW) gained more than 8% on an upgrade from a JP Morgan analyst.
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