Shares of industrial and transportation companies experienced a boost following the release of better-than-expected economic data. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City's composite index, which combines weighted averages of revenue/sales, employment, and inventory indexes, rose to minus-2 in January from a previous reading of minus-7 in December.

Norfolk Southern Faces Quarterly Earnings Setback

Freight railroad company Norfolk Southern saw a slight decline in its shares as it reported another hit to quarterly earnings due to charges related to an Ohio fire. However, the company has pledged to focus on cost-cutting measures throughout the year.

Booz Allen Holdings Reports Surge in Earnings

Shares of high-tech defense contractor Booz Allen Holdings rallied as the company announced a significant increase in fiscal third-quarter earnings. This rise reflects higher demand for the company's consulting services.

Inflation Ticks Up, Fed Keeps Watchful Eye

In December, consumer price inflation, measured by the Federal Reserve's personal consumption expenditure index, showed a slight increase. Market strategists suggest that the Fed will closely monitor the data to determine if disruptions in Red Sea shipping are impacting wholesale or consumer prices. There are concerns that the supply chain issues may lead to inflation, although the extent is uncertain. Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist at brokerage LPL Financial, commented, "They don't want a repeat of the 70s… that's very clear."

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