Stocks Edge Higher, Pushing Further Into Record Territory

Stocks were mostly higher in early trading Wednesday, pushing beyond the records they had set a day earlier on the back of strong earnings and better-than-expected economic data.

The S&P 500 index rose 0.2% as of 10:10 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.6% and the Nasdaq composite was down 0.1%.

Traders got a dose of decent economic news Wednesday. A report from the Labor Department showed that consumer prices jumped 0.5% from June to July, down from the previous monthly increase of 0.9%. Year over year, consumer prices have increased a substantial 5.4%.

While the headline figures may seem bad, most of the rise in consumer prices has been tied to very specific goods that are not expected to impact the long-term health of the economy, like used cars, building materials and hotel rooms. These items came into short supply during the pandemic, and the increased economic activity has made prices for those items rise faster than usual.

The Federal Reserve has repeatedly said it believes any increase in inflation would be temporary and largely a result of the supply disruptions that happened because of the pandemic.

Coinbase, a platform where traders can buy and sell digital currencies like Bitcoin, rose 7% after reporting strong growth in the last quarter.

Southwest Airlines fell 1% after saying it no longer expects to turn a profit in the third quarter as COVID-19 infections spread.

Online auction and retail giant eBay will report its results after the closing bell Wednesday.