CNBC used Kensho, a quantitative analytics tool used by hedge funds, to look at when the consumer price index beat expectations by at least 0.1 percentage point. The study covered 54 such occasions since 2001.
The top five performers in the Dow after better-than-expected consumer price index reports are United Technologies, Apple, UnitedHealth, Merck and Boeing, the Kensho study showed. Each stock climbed an average of 0.6 percent or more the week after a hot inflation report, with United Technologies and Apple the best performers, up 0.8 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively.
On Wednesday, the consumer price index report showed a 0.5 percent increase in January, beating expectations for a 0.3 percent rise. The closely watched annualized core consumer price index increased 1.8 percent, above expectations for 1.7 percent.