U.S. stock indexes advanced in the final hour of trade on Wednesday as Dow Jones Industrial Average and S&P 500 are on pace to notch the third consecutive day of gains after December’s consumer-price index showed signs of cooling inflation. The Dow industrials jumped 211 points, or 0.6%, to 34,185, after briefly dipping into red territory earlier in the morning. The S&P 500 gained 0.3%, while the Nasdaq Composite advanced 0.5%, on track to post its fifth straight day of gains. U.S. consumer prices moderated again last month, with the headline inflation retreating in December for the sixth month in a row, declining to 6.5% from 7.1% in November. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, the core inflation rose 5.7% in December from a year earlier, slower than 6% in November. Fed-funds futures now reflect a 96% probability of a 25-basis point rise in February, up from around 77% on Wednesday, according to CME FedWatch Tool.Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
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