Investing.com - Buoyed by signs that the U.S. economy is picking steam as the latest U.S. inflation and retail sales data beat expectations, U.S. equities rose to record highs in early morning trade. All three major indexes look set to add to Tuesday's gains, eyeing up a 5th straight day of gains.
In the 12 months through January, headline inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 2.5% beating expectations of 2.1%. U.S. consumer prices rose at their fastest level in four years.
Financials continued to dominate moves in U.S. equities: At 18:15 EDT, Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) was up nearly 1% at $251.62, JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:JPM) added 1.02% while Citigroup Inc (NYSE:C) traded up 1.5% at $60.75.
The retail sector was also in focus, as President Donald Trump, met with CEOs from a host of retailers including Target Corporation (NYSE:TGT), Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY), Gap Inc (NYSE:GPS), AutoZone Inc (NYSE:AZO) among others to discuss taxes, jobs and the economy.
In the tech sector, Yahoo! Inc (NASDAQ:YHOO) spiked after reports suggested that Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ) is close to a revised deal to buy Yahoo's core Internet business in the region of $250 million - $350 million less than the original agreed price of $4.83 billion.
In corporate earnings news, PepsiCo Inc (NYSE:PEP) reported fourth-quarter results that beat analyst expectations but shares fell 2% in early trade, after company lowered its 2017 forward guidance, citing weakness in its international markets.
PepsiCo said it expected sales growth to slow to 3% this year, when compared to that of 2016.
Elsewhere, markets digested comments from Philadelphia Fed President Patrick Harker and Boston Fed President Eric Rosenberg - both said they see at least three-rate hikes this year.
At the time of writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 81 points, or 0.40% at 20,585. The Nasdaq Composite gained 0.24% and the S&P 500 climbed 0.2%.
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