U.S. stocks closed slightly lower on Wednesday, a day ahead of a key inflation reading that could heavily influence expectations for the timing of an interest rate cut from the Federal Reserve. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, the Fed's preferred inflation gauge, is expected to show prices ticked 0.3% higher on a monthly basis in January.
A federal investigation into semiconductor equipment supplier Applied Materials involving China shipments has widened to other U.S. agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission, according to a company filing on Tuesday. The filing said the company had received an SEC subpoena and another subpoena related to China shipments from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts in February. In November 2023 the Commerce Department also sent a subpoena "relating to certain China customer shipments".
Applied Materials (AMAT) expands its patterning solutions portfolio with the launch of new products, bolstering its overall portfolio strength.