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14/05/24 Briefing

Meme stocks soared again on Tuesday, as US equities broadly finished the trading day higher. The moves follow comments from President Biden on new China tariffs as investors count down to Wednesday's heavily anticipated look into consumer prices.

The S&P 500 (^GSPC) and Dow Jones Industrial Average (^DJI) jumped about 0.5% and 0.3%, respectively. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite (^IXIC) climbed about 0.8% to reach a new record close of 16,511 — its first record since April 11.

President Biden spoke Tuesday afternoon about the administration's decision to announce a new wave of tariffs across an array of Chinese goods. The White House plans to raise duties on $18 billion in Chinese imports, which include electric vehicles, steel, aluminum, semiconductors, medical devices, and more.

Meanwhile, new data on Tuesday showed wholesale prices increased 0.5% month over month in April, above the 0.3% consensus expected. That was according to the latest release of the Producer Price Index, which measures prices producers receive for goods produced. But the release also showed March's monthly price increase was revised lower to a decrease of 0.1% from an initial reading of a 0.2% increase.

The mixed bag helped Wall Street largely shrug off the report. The more crucial reading of inflation is expected on Wednesday with the release of the Consumer Price Index.

For his part, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said Tuesday that PPI was more "mixed" than "hot," reiterating during a question and answer session that he does not expect the central bank's next move to be a rate hike.

In individual movers, the meme-stock train rolled on. AMC (AMC) shares surged, up as much as 120% before paring gains to close up just above 30%. GameStop (GME) also more than doubled at one point before finishing up around 60%. A rally in meme darlings has dominated the early week as the return of an influential social media star kick-started a new mania for meme stocks.

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