Media Shares, Broader Market Jumps As Inflation Slowed In November

Shares rocketed higher in early trading as new data showed inflation slowed more than expected last month after a string of aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve meant to tamp down an overheated economy.

The welcome news came ahead of the Fed’s last scheduled meeting of the year tomorrow where it’s expected to announce an interest rate hike of 50 basis points, following four consecutive 0.75% increases this year that had economists, companies and consumers worried about imminent recession. A string of media executives in recent weeks have noted a glum ad market with advertisers pulling back due to the lack of economic clarity.

Fed chair Jerome Powell is planning a press conference tomorrow afternoon.

The DJIA opened up 600 points, off premarket highs. Among big media stocks, Disney is up 1.57%; Warner Bros. Discovery up 4.5%.; Comcast up 3%.

The Consumer Price Index, or CPI, rose 7.1% in November from the year before and was up 0.1% from October, according to monthly data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Expectations were for a higher 7.3% year-on-year rise, and in line with the 0.1% monthly increase.

Stripping out volatile food and energy prices, what’s called “core” inflation rose 6% year on year and 0.2% month over month in November vs. expectations of 6.1% and 0.3% increase.

Housing costs made up nearly half of the increase of the core CPI, rising 7.1% over the year.

The Fed hadn’t raised rates so fast and so much since the 1980 as it tried to combat inflation that was also at a 40-year high. Prices have jumped this year for a handful of reasons including high demand and consumer spending, ongoing Covid-related supply-chain issues and others disruptions caused by the Russia-Ukraine war.

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