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Stock Market News: CPI inflation data, debt ceiling looms, Disney on tap

Inflation rose less than expected in April, talks over the debt ceiling will resume on Friday as the deadline looms, bank stocks stabilize and Disney earnings on deck as the media giant dukes its out with Gov. DeSantis. FOX Business is providing real-time updates on the markets, commodities and all the most active stocks on the move.


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CPI inflation data

The consumer price index rose less than expected in April, still inflation remains stubbornly high for most Americans.

The Labor Department said Wednesday that the consumer price index, a broad measure of the price for everyday goods including gasoline, groceries and rents, rose 0.4% in April from the previous month, much faster than the 0.1% increase recorded in March.

Prices climbed 4.9% on an annual basis, slightly below the 5% increase forecast by Refinitiv economists.

Posted by FOX Business
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US stocks end mixed as investors cheer inflation data, Alphabet


The S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes rose on Wednesday, helped by a slightly lower-than-expected increase in April inflation and Alphabet Inc's latest artificial intelligence rollout.

The lower-than-expected inflation data drove the Nasdaq Composite Index up as much as 1.17% to its highest intraday level in more than eight months.

The Nasdaq was helped by a climb in Alphabet as the company rolled out more artificial intelligence for its core search product in response to competition from Microsoft Corp.

Regional bank shares extended declines from volatile sessions last week on concerns about the sector's health. While Oil and gas producer Occidental Petroleum Corp fell after its first-quarter earnings fell short of analysts' estimates.

Posted by Reuters

Lucid losses put Saudi Arabia's EV strategy in the headlamps


Lucid's electric vehicles are often displayed prominently at public events and financial conferences in Saudi Arabia to symbolise its crown prince's multi-billion dollar "Vision 2030".

The electric car maker is among the biggest U.S. investments by Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF) which has been tasked with driving the kingdom's ambitious plan to cut its reliance on oil revenue.

For PIF, the Lucid bet is proving challenging. The U.S. company, in which PIF owns a 60.46% stake, fell well short of analyst forecasts on Tuesday with a sharp first quarter revenue fall and a cut to its 2023 production outlook.

That performance could put a potential dent in Saudi plans to build its own EV industry, which includes Lucid's first manufacturing plant outside the U.S., as part of its far-reaching diversification plan led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Posted by Reuters

FDA panel backs over-the-counter birth control pill

Federal health advisers are recommending that a decades-old birth control pill be sold without a prescription.

The positive vote on Wednesday by a Food and Drug Administration panel paves the way for what could be the first birth control pill available over the counter. The recommendation is not binding and the FDA is expected to make its decision on the drug this summer.

Currently all contraceptive pills in the U.S. require a prescription. Dozens of medical and advocacy groups support making the pill available without a prescription to increase birth control options for women.

Posted by Associated Press

First Citizens BancShares records $9.8 billion gain from Silicon Valley Bank purchase


First Citizen BancShares Inc on Wednesday reported a gain of $9.82 billion in the first quarter from its acquisition of failed lender Silicon Valley Bank in March.

The windfall helped drive a surge in its profit to $9.50 billion, or $653.64 per share, for the three months ended March 31 from $264 million, or $16.70 per share, a year earlier.

The Raleigh, North Carolina-based lender's first-quarter deposits stood at $140.05 billion, also rising nearly 57% from the end of last year.

More than a third of those deposits came from Silicon Valley Bank, which First Citizens had scooped up with the backing of U.S. regulators.

Posted by Reuters

Ford's new muscle truck, Ranger Raptor, made possible by EVs


Ford Motor Co on Wednesday unveiled the latest addition to its muscle truck franchise - a Ranger Raptor midsize pickup with a 405-horsepower engine and a suspension designed for racing across the desert, made possible in part by Ford's electric vehicles.

The Ranger Raptor, and the rest of the new generation of Ford Ranger pickups, will launch in North America later this year, illustrating how established automakers are shifting their combustion-vehicle lines toward more powerful, higher-profit variants as regulators clamp down on carbon emissions.

For Ford, the Ranger Raptor is part of a broader strategy to develop performance variants of popular vehicles that share 80% of the parts of the basic truck or SUV, but can deliver an average 30% more profit margin over the cost of building the vehicle.

Ford is expected to highlight this strategy at an investor event on May 22.Prices for the new Ranger will start at $34,160. But a Ranger Raptor will start at $56,960, Ford said.

Posted by Reuters

Rivian results boost shares out of EV startup gloom

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Shares of Rivian Automotive Inc rose 11% on Wednesday as its positive earnings stood out in a poor quarter for electric-vehicle startups, but analysts warned that stiff competition will be a hurdle in its path to profitability.

The company looked set to add about $1.4 billion to its market valuation after the EV maker reiterated its annual production forecast and beat quarterly revenue estimates.

The results showed how Rivian's move to raise prices last year has helped it stem cash burn at a time when peers Lucid Group Inc and Nikola Corp are struggling with worsening losses.

Amazon-backed Rivian made 9,395 vehicles between January and March, which equates to about 2% of the 440,808 produced by Tesla in the same period.

Posted by Reuters

Airbnb tumbles as forecast hints at easing U.S. travel demand


Airbnb's shares slid 13% before the bell on Wednesday after the top vacation rental firm issued a gloomy second-quarter forecast and signaled that the high cost of travel may be finally catching up to budget-conscious U.S. consumers.

Household savings and pent-up demand have largely insulated the U.S. travel industry from inflationary pressures that have roiled other sectors.

Airbnb, however, said on Tuesday it expects fewer bookings and lower average daily rates, or accommodation prices, in the second quarter.

Average daily rates during Airbnb's first quarter were flat year-on-year at $168, after rising 5% a year earlier.

Posted by Reuters

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