Index Moves Higher Ahead of Key Inflation Data


Key Takeaways

  • The S&P 500 added 0.4% on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2023, ahead of key consumer price data and with indications that the Fed may be cautious about hiking interest rates.
  • Significant trading action surrounded the impact of a new study showing positive results in treating kidney patients using Novo Nordisk’s Ozempic.
  • Exxon Mobil shares dropped 3.6% as the energy giant paid $59.5 billion to buy shale oil driller Pioneer Natural Resources.

U.S. equities were higher, with the S&P 500 up 0.4% on Wednesday following further indications from the Federal Reserve that policymakers may be more cautious about raising interest rates to bring down inflation. On Thursday, the Labor Department is set to release the closely watched September report on consumer prices.

Much of Wednesday’s market-moving action surrounded the announcement by Novo Nordisk (NVO) that it had wrapped up earlier than expected on a study of its injectable diabetes and weight-loss drug Ozempic to treat kidney disease because it likely was successful.

That news contributed to Novo Nordisk’s American Depositary Receipts (ADRs) lifting 6% and helped send dialysis machine and insulin pump makers’ stocks plunging. Shares of DaVita (DVA), Baxter International (BAX), Insulet (PODD), and DexCom (DXCM) lost 16.8%, 12.3%, 8.7%, and 7.3%, respectively.

Catalent (CTLT) shares jumped 5.5% after anticipation that the Ozempic decision would boost demand for the firm’s syringes. Eli Lilly (LLY) shares also gained 4.5% on the day, with optimism that the Ozempic news will increase sales of its Mounjaro diabetes treatment.

Amgen (AMGN) shares added 4.5% following an upgrade from Leerink Partners, which said that the biotech company’s stock should move higher because of the firm’s accelerating pipeline.

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) shares added 1% as the biggest U.S. pharmacy chain announced that former Cigna (CI) executive Tim Wentworth would take over as its new CEO.

Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD) shares rose 1.5% after Exxon Mobil (XOM) agreed to buy the shale oil driller for $59.5 billion. Exxon Mobil shares dropped 3.6%.

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