Inflation Hits New 40-Year High as War Pushes Oil, Commodities Higher – Investopedia
Ron has edited and reported on nearly every angle of business news from breaking corporate news to markets, technology to commodities, as well as long form impact investing features to opinion. He's covered general news from politics to courts to crime to local budgets. He spent 20 years at Bloomberg News and worked at daily newspapers around New Jersey.
Soaring fuel, food, and housing prices pushed prices up 7.9% since last year, as inflation hit a new 40-year high.
In February alone, the Labor Department’s Consumer Price Index jumped nearly one percent as Russia’s attack on Ukraine pushed gasoline and grain prices higher. Gas prices spiked 6.6% in February and accounted for almost a third of the all items monthly increase, the department said in a statement. Gas hit a national average of $4.32 today, another record, according to AAA.
Core inflation, which excludes food and energy prices, rose 6.4% year-over-year, following a 6% jump reported in January.
The Labor Department also reported in a separate statement that new claims for unemployment benefits rose by 11,000 to 227,000 last week, in line with economist estimates.
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) announced its first stock split since the dotcom boom. Amazon shares were gaining nearly 4% this morning after the ecommerce and cloud computing giant announced its board approved a 20-for-1 stock split and said it was expanding its stock buyback program to $10 billion. This is Amazon’s first stock split since 1999.
Although a stock split does not increase the value of Amazon’s shares, it will make it easier and generally cheaper for retail investors to buy shares, which are worth nearly $3,000 per share. If the stock were to split at its current level, each share would be worth about $140, and each shareholder would get an additional 19 shares for each share they own. The split will be effective at the close of business on May 27, following a shareholder vote at the company’s annual meeting on May 25th.
Amazon's announcement follows news last month that Google parent Alphabet would split its stock 20-for-1, effective on July 15. Apple split its stock 4-for-1 in 2020.
Another possible benefit for the stock splits for Amazon and Alphabet is that they could now be included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Adding higher-priced shares to the Dow is problematic since it is price-weighted, meaning the same percentage move matters more for a higher-priced stock than a lower-priced stock.
Amazon’s stock has lagged behind other big technology stocks. It's down 16% so far this year, and 9% lower over the past year.
AAA. "National Average Gas Prices."
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