Stocks ‘mystery rally’ 60 seconds before inflation numbers hit: report

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A surge in trading activity in the 60 seconds before the release of critical November inflation data this week has sparked speculation that the closely watched report was prematurely leaked.

Stock futures surged more than 1% just before the November edition of the Consumer Price Index was due for release Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m. ET, according to Bloomberg. Treasury yields also rapidly dropped in a flurry of trades within a short window before the release.

The activity suggested that traders were prepping for a positive outcome for the report – a hunch confirmed when it was officially released. Inflation cooled to 7.1% in November, dropping lower than economists had expected.

“This is unusual, especially given the reduction in inflation that was reported, which was well in excess of what markets anticipated,” Jerome Selvers, chair of the securities regulatory enforcement & litigation practice at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden law firm, told Bloomberg.

Inflation cooled to 7.1% in November.
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“Someone will likely look into it, whether it’s innocent or not,” Selvers added.

All three major stock indices closed higher on Tuesday following the inflation report. Investors saw the cooler-than-expected result as a positive sign that could lead the Federal Reserve to implement a smaller interest rate hike at its meeting this week.

The Fed will announce its latest move at 2 p.m. ET on Wednesday.

Cody Parkinson, a spokesperson for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, told the outlet that the agency hadn’t seen any signs of a leak – though the rep acknowledged some government officials receive the information before it is publicly released.

The Post has reached out to the Bureau of Labor Statistics for further comment.

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre downplayed the possibility of a leak during her daily press briefing on Tuesday.

“There were no leaks from here. I can tell you definitively, or at least I’m not aware of any leaks,” Jean-Pierre said. “And I know there were very strict security protocols to prevent leaks.”

Karine Jean-Pierre
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre downplayed the possibility of a leak.
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“But I think, again, people may be reading a little bit too much into this, into some of the minor market movements,” she added.

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