Producer prices post biggest annual increase since October 2018

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Stock Alert: Prudential Financial Shares Hit 52-Week High

Shares of Prudential Financial Inc. (PRU) reached a 52-week high of $94.85 Friday morning, and are currently trading at $94.16, up $1.75 or 1.89%, with trading volume rising over 218K versus an average volume of 2.27 million shares.

There are no recent company-specific news that could be attributed to today’s stock movement.

SIGN UP NOW: Execs from Bain Capital Ventures, JPMorgan, Mastercard, and PayPal on the future of payments

  • There have been massive changes in the way we pay in the last year. What’s in store for 2021?
  • Panelists will discuss emerging trends in payments like cryptocurrencies and buy now, pay later, and offer a look into the future of how we shop and pay.
  • You can sign up for our live event about the future of payments on March 18 at 12:00pm ET here if you’re a Business Insider subscriber.

Digital payments took off in 2020. From the massive boost in e-commerce to the proliferation of touch-free options like contactless cards and mobile wallets, there have been huge changes in the way we shop and pay. 

Join us Thursday, March 18 at 12:00pm ET for a live panel and Q&A with:

  • Ashley Paston, investor at Bain Capital Ventures
  • Lia Cao, head of wholesale payment solutions at JPMorgan Chase
  • Sherri Haymond, EVP of digital partnerships at Mastercard
  • Peggy Alford, global head of sales at PayPal

These payments experts will discuss the new habits that will stick around and how they’re investing to shape the future of how we’ll pay. The panel will be moderated by finance reporter Shannen Balogh.

You can sign up here.

CANADA STOCKS-TSX opens lower as mining, energy stocks drag

March 12 (Reuters) – Canada’s main stock index opened lower on Friday as mining and energy stocks tracked weaker commodities, while data showed the nation added far more jobs than expected in February.

* At 9:30 a.m. ET (14:30 GMT), the Toronto Stock Exchange’s S&P/TSX composite index was down 79.81 points, or 0.42%, at 18,764.76.

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Virginia men’s basketball out of ACC tournament after COVID-19 positive; Georgia Tech to final

One day after the Duke Blue Devils men’s basketball team exited the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament due to a positive coronavirus test within the program, a second ACC program has suffered the same fate.

The conference announced Friday’s semifinal matchup between the Virginia Cavaliers and Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets has been canceled due to “a positive test, subsequent quarantining, and contact tracing” within the Virginia program.

Georgia Tech will advance to the tournament final Saturday and face the winner of Florida State vs. North Carolina. That semifinal remains scheduled for Friday and will now tip off at 8:30 p.m. EST on ESPN.

OPINION:  Duke's loss to COVID-19 puts other tournament teams on warning

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Producer prices post biggest annual increase since October 2018

Will coronavirus stimulus checks cause inflation problem?

Lebenthal Global Advisors President Dominick Tavella and Walser Wealth Management President Rebecca Walser discuss how stimulus checks will impact the economy and markets.

U.S. producer prices rose in February as the cost of energy spiked, leading to the sharpest annual increase in producer inflation in two and a half years.

The Labor Department said Friday that its producer price index for final demand rose 2.8% year over year, picking up from last month’s 1.7% annual increase. The February reading made for the largest annual increase since October 2018.

Prices edged up 0.5% month over month, slowing from the 1.3% increase in January.

Economists surveyed by Refinitiv had forecast PPI would rise 2.7% from a year ago and 0.5% versus the prior month.

More than two-thirds of the February increase was the result of prices for final demand energy climbing 6%. Nearly half of the jump in energy prices was due to a 13.1% increase in the cost of gasoline. Diesel fuel, meat and poultry, and electricity prices were some of the other goods that saw price increases.

Prices for fresh and dry vegetables, meanwhile, declined by 16.7%. Steel and bottled liquor prices (excluding brandy) also declined.

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Core producer prices, which exclude the volatility from food and energy, rose 2.5% year over year and 0.2% on a monthly basis. Analysts were expecting those prices to increase by 2.6% and 0.2%, respectively.