Russell 2000 on track for biggest one-day gain in nearly a month

The Russell 2000 index of small-capitalization stocks rallied on Wednesday, jumping more than 1% as concerns appeared to ebb over the impact of inflation in the economy. The index rose 1.2%, putting it on track for its biggest one-day percentage gain since Jan. 19. The gains came as investors shook off January consumer-price data showing the fastest monthly rise in five months. However, the year-over-year increase in core CPI was unchanged from December at 1.8%, a level that’s slightly lower than the Fed’s 2% target rate. The Russell was among the hardest hit by recent data showing an acceleration in wage growth, which raised concerns that inflation could be returning to the economy, and that the Federal Reserve might become more aggressive in raising interest rates in order to combat the impact of this. It tumbled more than 11% from an all-time intraday high hit on Jan. 24, and a recent intraday low reached on Friday. The Russell has recovered more than 5% off that session low. At current levels, the Russell remains down 1.6% for 2018. On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.8% while the S&P 500 was up 1.2% and the Nasdaq Composite Index was up 1.5%.

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