The Dow Jones lost 0.20%, the Nasdaq index gained 0.29% and the broader S&P 500 index recovered 0.12%.
The CPI price index rose 3.7 percent year-on-year in August, according to a report released Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Labor, significantly higher than the 3.2 percent in July, but also more than the 3.6 percent expected by economists.
This acceleration is mainly due to the surge in oil prices, with the energy component of the index jumping 10.5% month-on-month.
At the same time, the underlying index, excluding energy and food, slowed to 4.3% from 4.7% the previous month.
The report "was close to expectations" and "did not challenge the idea that the Fed (US central bank) would pause next week," according to Angelo Kourkafas of Edward Jones. "But the door remains open for a further hike in November."
The bond market mainly held the focus on the deceleration in core inflation, and yields eased. The yield on 2-year US government bonds, more representative of monetary policy expectations, stood at 4.97%, compared to 5.02% the previous day at the close.
As for equities, "a mixed report gave a mixed market," commented Angelo Kourkafas. "We are going through a period of consolidation, after the significant gains since the beginning of the year. There is no real catalyst to expect in the short term" before the earnings season, which starts in mid-October and should bring volatility, according to the analyst.
At the rating, Netflix fell (-5.16%) after statements by the chief financial officer, Spencer Neumann, who estimated that the strike of American writers and actors were damaging to the entertainment industry.
The executive also explained that advertising revenues were not yet likely to weigh in the platform's results. "We are in the construction phase," he insisted.
American Airlines (-5.67%) was the victim of an air hole after a profit warning linked, according to the company, to the rise in the price of kerosene. The Fort Worth (Texas) group expects to see its margins compressed and now expects a profit divided by three to four compared to its previous forecasts.
The low-cost airline Spirit Airlines (-6.25%) also reduced its margin forecasts, again due to the acceleration in fuel prices, but also due to promotions on flights scheduled for the second half of the year.
Citigroup did well (+1.66%) after the announcement of a major reorganization, the largest for the bank "in nearly twenty years", according to the chief executive, Jane Fraser. This reshuffle will lead to many job cuts, which the manager has refused to figure for the moment.
The encouraging clinical results of a new messenger RNA vaccine against influenza, published on Wednesday, carried Moderna (+3.18%).
Despite the prospect of a strike as early as Friday, due to the impasse in negotiations on the renewal of collective agreements, the auto sector has done better than resist.
Ford (+1.66%) and General Motors (+0.57%) ended in the green, supported by comments from analysts, who believe that the impact of a work stoppage has already been priced in by the market.
Industrial conglomerate 3M fell (-5.70%) after its chief financial officer, Monish Patolawala, warned that the group expected "a context of weak growth" in 2024.
© 2023 AFP