Stocks Opened Slightly Higher, Oil Prices Edged Higher

U.S. stocks opened slightly higher on Wednesday, as tech shares recovered some losses. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lately edged lower 4.79 points, or 0.02%, to 31,063.90. The S&P 500 edged up 0.07 point, to 3,801.26. The Nasdaq Composite advanced 16.17 points, or 0.12%, to 13,088.60.

Oil futures continued their push higher Wednesday, buoyed by industry data that showed a drop in U.S. crude inventories as investors brushed off tightening restrictions on business activity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. West Texas Intermediate crude for February delivery rose 20 cents, or 0.4%, to $53.41 a barrel. March Brent crude was up 13 cents, or 0.2%, to $56.71 a barrel.

Consumer prices grew at a faster rate in December over November as energy prices picked back up at the end of the year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 0.4% in December following November’s 0.2% monthly rise.

U.S. mortgage applications jumped 16.7% during the week ended January 8 over the prior week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, as low interest rates and an improving economic outlook amid the vaccine roll-out spurred demand.

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