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US stocks mixed; signs of cooling inflation balance out weak Intel guidance



© Reuters — U.S. stocks traded in a mixed fashion Friday, as investors digested disappointing guidance from chip manufacturer Intel along with signs of cooling inflation.

By 09:35 ET (14:35 GMT), the was up 60 points, or 0.2%, the traded largely flat, while the dropped 25 points, or 0.2%.

Weak Intel guidance weighs

Tech giant Intel (NASDAQ:) released a disappointing first-quarter revenue forecast after the market close on Thursday, and this has weighed on market sentiment as the semiconductor manufacturer has been one of the best performing companies over the last year, with its stock up 75% during that period.

Intel said it expects to post revenue in its current three month period of $12.2 billion to $13.2 billion, a range that was well below Wall Street projections of $14.5 billion, according to LSEG data cited by Reuters.

Its stock fell 10% Friday.

Fed’s favorite inflation gauge slows growth

That said, any losses have been tempered by the release of data showing that underlying U.S. price growth rose by 0.2% in December, a rate that, if sustained, many economists believe could help cool inflation back down to the Federal Reserve’s target.

When compared to the year-ago period, the so-called , which excludes volatile items like food and fuel, increased by 2.9% last month. The uptick was a deceleration from 3.2% in November, and slower than estimates of 3.0%.

Coupled with Thursday’s solid figures, the data could factor into how the Fed approaches potentially lowering interest rates from more than two-decade highs.

T-Mobile US misses profit target

The earnings season continued Friday, with T-Mobile US (NASDAQ:) stock down 0.5% after the wireless carrier missed its profit target for the fourth quarter, even as it forecast monthly bill-paying phone subscriber growth for the year above estimates, banking on its wide 5G coverage and promotional offers to draw in consumers.

American Express (NYSE:) stock rose 2% after the credit card giant beat full-year profit expectations, even as it raised its loan loss provisions, bracing for a jump in potential loan defaults.

It’s main rival, on the other hand, Visa (NYSE:) stock fell 1.8% after it offered up tepid second-quarter sales guidance, with the world’s largest payments processor forecasting an uptick in the “upper mid- to high single-digit” in net revenue during its current period — implying a slowdown from the 11% increase posted in the corresponding period in 2023.

Western Digital (NASDAQ:) stock fell over 4% after the the data-storage products maker posted a wider-than-expected quarterly adjusted loss, due to the impact of structural changes the company implemented in its flash and HDD businesses.

Crude on course for weekly gains

Oil prices fell Friday, handing back some of the previous session’s strong gains, but are still on course for hefty weekly gains on the back of healthy U.S. economic growth and signs of Chinese stimulus.

By 09:35 ET, the futures traded 0.5% lower at $76.97 a barrel, while the contract dropped 0.3% to $82.22 a barrel, after climbing to their highest levels since December during the previous session.

The crude benchmarks are both still on course for gains of more than 4%, their biggest weekly gains since October, after data on Thursday showed the U.S. economy expanded more quickly than expected in the fourth quarter, suggesting economic resilience from the world’s largest crude consumer.

China, the world’s second-largest oil consumer, had also announced a deep cut to bank reserves to spur economic growth earlier in the week, while oil supply disruptions in the Red Sea continued.

Additionally, rose 0.3% to $2,023.65/oz, while traded 0.2% higher at 1.0871.

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