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Even the ‘inflation is peaking’ narrative is in doubt, drowning out decent earnings

You can’t even say inflation has peaked yet. One of the only crumbs bulls have had is the “inflation is peaking,” narrative, even though it remains at a high level. Even that is in doubt. Today’s September consumer price index was up 8.2% year over year vs. 8.1% expected. Not helpful. Neither was the month over month change: up 0.4% (vs. 0.3% expected), and up 0.6% ex-food and energy (vs. 0.4% expected). S & P futures dropped 110 points on that. That, for the moment, is the premium between “inflation has not peaked” and “inflation has peaked.” It’s a shame, because markets had rallied over vague reports that UK Prime Minister Liz Truss may do a (partial?) about face on her budget program. That lifted European stocks, with the iShares United Kingdom ETF (EWU) up about 2% pre-open. The CPI will also drown out what is turning out to be a very good morning for earnings reports. All the major reporters, Blackrock, Delta, Fastenal and Walgreens Boots Alliance, posted numbers above expectations and all were trading up prior to the CPI announcement. Blackrock, in particular, had a large beat, although profits were down 16% from the same period last year. However, the massive iShares ETF business still saw inflows, which helped limit the decline in assets under management, down 5% from the prior quarter. Not bad, considering the carnage in the market.

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