Wall St staggers to higher close as Fed rate hike looms

STORY: U.S. stocks closed modestly higher on Wednesday, staggering back from the worst sell-off in more than two years in the previous session, as the latest inflation data from the Labor Department landed close to estimates, providing some relief in the aftermath of Tuesday's hotter-than-expected CPI report.

The Dow rose just a tenth of a percent. The S&P 500 gained a third, while the Nasdaq ended about three quarters of a percent higher.

Sam Stovall, chief investment strategist at CFRA Research, said producer prices data out Wednesday calmed investors' nerves after Tuesday's carnage.

"The PPI [Producer Price Index] did come in a little bit better than expected on a year-over-year basis, which sort of undoes some of the CPI [Consumer Price Index] excitement from yesterday. But I think it's going to have no effect whatsoever on the decision made by the FOMC [Federal Open Market Committee] at next week's meeting. And I think the Fed will certainly need to see a series of economic indicators which point to a slowdown in economic growth and a reduction in the overall inflation rate."

While most mega-cap stocks bounced back from Tuesday's drop, Meta Platforms extended losses. And shares of social media rival Snap also fell.

Shares of Tesla jumped more than 3.5% on the same day President Joe Biden announced $900 million in funding for electric vehicle charging stations.

And shares of Starbucks rose 5.5% after the company upped its three-year profit and sales outlook.