US open: Stocks trade slightly higher ahead of impeachment vote

13 January 2021

(Sharecast News) - Wall Street stocks opened slightly higher on Wednesday as the House of Representatives prepared to vote on impeaching the President for a second time.
As of 1525 GMT, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.08% at 31,093.04, while the S&P 500 was 0.04% firmer at 3,802.62 and the Nasdaq Composite started out the session 0.14% stronger at 13,090.35.

The Dow opened 24.35 points higher on Wednesday, narrowly extending gains recorded in the previous session as investors cheered positive news regarding the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines in the US.

Market participants kept a keen eye on the December consumer price index report for any hints about rising inflation, which could potentially drive already inflated rates even higher.

The report revealed that the cost of living in the US rose a bit more quickly than expected at the end of 2020, mainly due to a jump in energy costs, although price pressures at the 'core' level remained subdued.

According to <em>the Department of Labor</em>, in seasonally adjusted terms the US consumer price index advanced at a month-on-month pace of 0.4%, which pushed the year-on-year rate of price increases to 1.4%. Economists had forecast a rise from 1.2% for November to 1.4% last month.

Also in focus, the House of Representatives will vote on whether or not to impeach Trump for a second time following last week's events in Washington. House majority leader Steny Hoyer rejected Republicans' arguments that an impeachment would only further divide the US after the president incited the violent mob to storm the Capitol Building.

On the macro front, as mortgage rates remain at all-time lows, applications for home loans reached their highest level since March, according to <em>the Mortgage Bankers Association</em>, with mortgage applications soaring 16.7% week-on-week, in the seven days ended 8 January.

Still to come, the Government's monthly budget statement will be published at 1900 GMT.

No major corporate earnings were slated for release on Wednesday.