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Stocks erase early losses as banks and tech rise

Alexandra Gibbs

Stocks erased earlier losses on Wednesday as banks and traded higher.

The Dow Jones industrial average traded 19 points higher after falling as much as 150 points. Goldman Sachs and Cisco Systems were the best-performing stocks in the index, rising 1 percent.

The S&P 500 gained 0.1 percent, with financials as the best-performing sector. Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Morgan Stanley all traded higher.

The Nasdaq composite advanced 0.4 percent, as shares of Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Alphabet rose.

U.S. equities opened lower on the back of stronger-than-expected inflation data. The consumer price index rose 0.5 percent in January. Economists polled by Reuters expected a gain of 0.3 percent. Investors also digested weaker-than-expected retail sales for last month.

"You got the worst-case scenario with this economic data," said Art Hogan, chief market strategist at B. Riley FBR. "You got a hotter-than-expected CPI number and weaker retail sales. Unfortunately, CPI gets much more focus than normal because of the wage growth number we saw" in the last jobs report.

The 10-year note yield spiked higher to trade around 2.87 percent on the back of the data release at 8:30 a.m. ET. It traded near 2.82 percent before then.

Stock futures erased their sharp gains following the data releases. At one point, Dow futures trade more than 300 points lower.

Concerns of rising inflation have recently sent jitters down Wall Street. Last week, all three major U.S. indexes finished the five-day trading period more than 5 percent down each, with the Dow delivering its worst performance since January 2016.

Those jitters also helped kick off a fresh bout of market volatility. In its previous eight sessions, the Dow has posted six triple-digit moves and two of those are 1,000-point losses.

In that time, the Cboe Volatility index (VIX) briefly broke above 50, but traded back below 20 for the first time since the sell-off on Wednesday.