Dow struggles for altitude Wedneday morning as investors await Trump’s second impeachment vote in the House

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U.S. stock benchmarks opened flat to slightly lower Wednesday morning after a report on inflation and ahead of a crucial House vote on impeaching President Donald Trump for a second time one week before he is set to leave office on Jan. 20. The Dow Jones Industrial Average [: DJIA] rose 25 points, or less than 0.1%, to trade at 31,091, the S&P 500 index gained 3 points, or less than 0.1%, to reach around 3,805, the Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 18 points, or 0.2%, to 13,093. The Democratic-controlled House is expected to vote later in the afternoon to impeach Trump for his role in encouraging a violent mob last week to attack the Capitol. A reading on inflation, the consumer-price index, was relatively tame, rising 0.4% in December, while the core index minus volatile food and energy prices was up 0.1%, matching the MarketWatch consensus. The annual headline number ticked up to 1.4%, but the core reading remained at 1.6%. The headline CPI number has now risen for seven months straight. In corporate news, shares of Shares of Plug Power Inc. [: PLUG] were higher, after more than doubling over the past few days. Meanwhile, Target Inc. is in focus after the big-box retailer reported that same-store sales rose 17.2% during the November/December holiday period, as traffic increased by 4.3% and average ticket rose 12.4%. Separately, Intel said that its CEO Bob Swan is stepping down effective Feb. 15, and will be replaced by VMWare CEO Pat Gelsinger will take over the position, sources told Faber.
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