The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI ) was down 14 points as of 11:30 a.m. EDT. Dow component Intel (NASDAQ: INTC ) was largely unchanged ahead of its quarterly earnings report after market close today, while fellow tech stocks Pandora (NYSE: P ) and Google (NASDAQ: GOOG ) (NASDAQ: GOOGL ) were active in early trading.
Data released on Tuesday suggests that the pace of inflation may be picking up in the U.S. economy. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, core CPI -- a measure of the Consumer Price Index that omits highly variable inputs -- rose 0.2% on a month-over-month basis, slightly more than the 0.1% that economists had anticipated
While higher inflation may benefit stocks, and therefore the Dow Jones, it could also encourage the Federal Reserve to further rein in its aggressive monetary policy.
Intel unchanged ahead of earnings report
Intel shares were just under breakeven, largely in line with its Dow Jones index.
Investors looking to the chipmaker's earnings report are likely hopeful that the recent end of Windows XP support by Microsoft has spurred sales of PCs to Intel's benefit, as it continues to rely primarily on chips that power traditional desktop and laptop computers. But Intel's progress in tablets is also important, and investors should look to management for an update on the company's success in expanding its market share in this space. Intel has also made some overtures toward wearable computing, but for now that remains a future area of growth rather than a current business reality.
Maxim Group upgrades Pandora
Pandora shares were up just 0.8% in late-morning trading, though they had risen several percentage points earlier in the session. The Internet radio company's shares rose after Maxim Group raised its rating on Pandora shares from hold to buy.
Maxim cited Pandora's recent sell-off as a reason to buy shares. At this point, Pandora shares are down more than 35% in just the last month. As a high-flying, aggressively valued tech stock, Pandora has been hit particularly hard by the recent tech sell-off.
Google acquires drone maker
Shares of the search giant Google fell a bit more than 1% early in the session, as investors mulled its recent acquisition. On Monday, Google acquired Titan Aerospace, a maker of drones. The purchase price was not disclosed.
Adding drones to Google's business is unlikely to have a major affect on the company, at least in the near term. It isn't known exactly what Google will do with Titan Aerospace's drones, but widespread speculation suggests the intended use involves beaming Internet to remote areas of the planet, helping to bring more users online. As a major Web portal, more Internet traffic would be advantageous to Google.
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