Latest US inflation data shows Consumer Prices index rose 0.4% in August up from 2.6% in July. Market speculation about a potential Federal rate rise rose too. Behind the spike in the price gauge was housing, energy, clothing and fuel prices. If inflation continues to rise, expectations are that the Federal Reserve could be more likely to raise interest rates in December.
The S&P 500 floundered in mixed trading on Thursday slipping -0.11%. The Dow stayed at record level for its third straight session up +0.20% while Nasdaq fell -0.48%.
Consumer discretionary and consumer staples were a drag on the S&P 500. Health care product and service provider, Henry Schein, declined -4.58%. Tiffany and Co. fell -4.77%. Energy saw gains Chesapeake Energy was up +4.06% and Range Resources was +3.02%.
- Dow 22,203.48 +0.28%
- S&P 500 2,495.62 -0.11%
- Nasdaq 6,429.08 -0.48%
- Russell 2000 1,423.46 +0.61%
- NYSE Composite 12,062.62 +1.54%
- Gold 1,333.6 +0.42%
- Oil WTI $49.72 +0.85%
- 10-Year Treasury 2.18 +0.004%
Equifax data breach crisis intensifies
Equifax's problems mount as it faces numerous lawsuits and an announcement on Thursday that the Federal Trade Commission was now launching an investigation in the data breach that has roiled the company since it was announced last Friday. The breach took place on 29 July.
The company which monitors consumer credit saw its share prices slumped -2.35%. Since its announcement shares prices plunged -32% wiping around $6mn in value off the company.
Equifax's CEO, Richard Smith took to an op-ed in USA Today to apologise to the 143 million Americans who were affected by the massive security breach. He called it "the most humbling moment in our 118-year history."
The company came under wide criticism for its decision to wait six weeks before revealing the intrusion. Smith said after discovery a leading cybersecurity firm was engaged and at the time it thought the intrusion was limited. It is offering free identity theft protection and credit to US consumers. The Wall Street Journal estimated nearly 100 lawsuits have since been filed.
Quote of the day from USA Today editorial on Equifax crisis: "Oh, and there’s this: Three senior executives sold shares worth nearly $1.8 million days after the breach was discovered and weeks before it was made public, when the stock tanked. A spokesman said the three did not know about the breach. If that's true, you have to wonder about a company whose chief financial officer and president of information services aren’t told immediately about the gravest commercial data breach in U.S. history."