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Dow Drops Over 200 Points; First Financial Northwest Soars Higher Stock Market Daily Recap

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U.S. stocks experienced a midday slump, with the Dow Jones index plummeting over 200 points on Thursday.

The Dow traded down 0.56% to 37,483.91 while the NASDAQ fell 0.86% to 14,840.28. The S&P 500 also fell, dropping, 0.70% to 4,749.93.

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Key Sector Performance

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Energy shares managed to rise by 0.5% on Thursday.

In contrast, utilities shares experienced a 1.9% decline in Thursdayโ€™s trading session.

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Major Economic Indicators

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U.S. consumer prices surged by 0.3% month-over-month in December, compared to a 0.1% increase in November, surpassing market expectations of 0.2%.

The annual inflation rate elevated to 3.4% in December, compared to a five-month low level of 3.1% in November and exceeding market estimates of 3.2%.

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Stocks on the Rise

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First Financial Northwest, Inc. FFNW shares soared by 49% to $20.33. This dramatic surge followed Global Credit Unionโ€™s announcement of its plans to acquire First Financial Northwest Bank for an all-cash consideration of $231.2 million.

Shares of SEALSQ Corp LAES spiked upwards by 29% to $2.5250. SEALSQ revealed that its FY23 revenue hit $30 million, marking a remarkable increase of 29% year-over-year, surpassing its Q3 outlook of growth in excess of 20%.

Transphorm, Inc. TGAN shares also experienced an upward trend, gaining 26% to $4.7650 after Renesas Electronics announced its intentions to acquire the company for $5.10 per share in cash.

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Stocks on the Decline

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Clearmind Medicine Inc. CMND shares tumbled by 40% to $1.77. Clearmind Medicine reported pricing of $2.4 million in registered direct and private placement.

Shares of YanGuFang International Group Co., Ltd. YGF plummeted by 24% to $1.3799. YanGuFang International appointed Ya Zhang as Interim CEO and Yang Sui as Interim CFO, effective as of Jan. 9, 2024.

Office Properties Income Trust OPI also witnessed a decline, falling by 38% to $3.8550 after the company reduced its quarterly dividend to $0.01 per share.

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Commodities Snapshot

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In commodity news, oil traded up by 2.7% to $73.27, while gold traded up by 0.3% at $2,033.90.

Silver traded down by 0.7% to $22.915 on Thursday, while copper rose by 0.1% to $3.7820.

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Euro Zone Update

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European shares dipped today. The eurozoneโ€™s STOXX 600 fell by 0.48%, Londonโ€™s FTSE 100 fell by 0.68%, while Spainโ€™s IBEX 35 Index dropped by 0.35%. The German DAX fell by 0.56%, and the French CAC 40 fell by 0.25%, while Italyโ€™s FTSE MIB Index fell by 0.31%.

Industrial production in Spain increased by 0.8% year-over-year in November, while Italyโ€™s industrial production declined by 1.5% month-over-month in November.

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Asia Pacific Markets Overview

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Asian markets closed higher on Thursday, with Japanโ€™s Nikkei 225 gaining 1.77%, Hong Kongโ€™s Hang Seng Index rising 1.27%, and Chinaโ€™s Shanghai Composite Index gaining 0.31%. Indiaโ€™s S&P BSE Sensex, on the other hand, rose by 0.1%.

Chinaโ€™s vehicle sales jumped by 23.5% year-over-year in December to 3.156 million units, following a 27.4% surge in November. The index of leading economic indicators in Japan fell to 107.7 in November, versus a final reading of 108.9 in the preceding month, while the index of coincident economic indicators fell to 114.5 in November, compared to a final 115.9 a month ago. Reserve assets in Japan climbed to $1.295 trillion in December from $1.270 trillion a month ago, recording the highest level since July 2022.

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Economic Tidbits

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U.S. consumer prices increased by 0.3% month-over-month in December, compared to a 0.1% rise in November, exceeding market expectations of 0.2%.

The annual inflation rate rose to 3.4% in December, compared to a five-month low level of 3.1% in November, and exceeding market estimates of 3.2%.

U.S. initial jobless claims declined by 1,000 from the prior weekโ€™s revised reading of 202,000 in the period ending Jan, 6, compared to market expectations of 210,000.

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