U.S. markets rise on bleaker inflation news

NEW YORK — Stocks were slightly higher early Friday on Wall Street, despite news that closely watched inflation data jumped the most in four decades last month. The S&P 500 and the technology-weighted Nasdaq are each on track to end July with the biggest gains since November 2020.

Investors were boosted by positive earnings news from tech giants Apple and Amazon, as well as oil giants Exxon and Chevron.

The S&P 500 index was up 0.9% at 10:05 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.4% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 1.2%.

Oil giants Exxon and Chevron posted record quarterly profits last quarter amid high oil and gas prices. The two companies made $46 billion last quarter and about four times the amount of money these two companies made in the same period a year earlier.

Amazon shares jumped 11% after the company posted a quarterly loss, but its revenue jumped sharply in the quarter.

Apple shares rose more than 3% after its quarterly earnings beat Wall Street expectations. Apple saw its profit for the April-June period fall 10% while its revenue edged up 2% as it grappled with manufacturing headaches and inflationary pressures.

An inflation indicator closely watched by the Federal Reserve jumped 6.8% in June from a year ago, the biggest increase in four decades, and does not leave Americans feeling relieved about the surge costs. Month-over-month inflation accelerated to 1% in June from a monthly increase of 0.6% in May.

The numbers underscored persistent inflation that is eroding Americans’ purchasing power, weakening their confidence in the economy and threatening Democrats in Congress ahead of November’s midterm elections.