Stocks gain…Inflation concerns ease…Trump considers Kudlow

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are moving higher after the Labor Department said inflation remained in check last month. Technology and health care companies are leading the way. Qualcomm is skidding after President Donald Trump blocked a bid for the chipmaker by Singapore-based rival Broadcom. Trump said he opposed the deal because it could have been detrimental to national security.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government says prices paid by consumers rose 0.2 percent in February, matching estimates. Excluding food and energy costs, prices have risen 1.8 percent in the last year. Prices had jumped in January. Over the last month investors have worried about the prospect of faster inflation, but this price report and the monthly jobs report on Friday suggest inflation isn’t moving any more rapidly than it did in the recent past.

CORAOPOLIS, Pa. (AP) — Shares in Dick’s Sporting Goods are sliding in early trading after the company reported some disappointing holiday sales numbers. Sales at existing stores fell 2 percent during the fourth quarter, which was about double the decline Wall Street was expecting.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is praising CNBC commentator Larry Kudlow as a potential successor to outgoing economic adviser Gary Cohn. The president says he’s “looking at Larry Kudlow very strongly.” He notes that while he and Kudlow “don’t agree on everything,” that might be helpful to him. He says he believes Kudlow has come around to believing in tariffs as a way to negotiate. Trump recently slapped tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a decision that has drawn criticism on Wall Street.

PARIS (AP) — As the U.S. prepares to impose tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, a world economic watchdog is warning that such barriers will hurt economic growth globally. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, a policy adviser to developed economies, says that “trade protectionism remains a key risk that would negatively affect confidence, investment and jobs.”

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