PRICES EDGE HIGHER: U.S. wholesale prices rose 0.2 percent in January after three straight declines, the latest sign that inflation is posing no threat. The index measures the cost of goods before they reach consumers.

FOOD THE CULPRIT: The Labor Department said Wednesday that food prices jumped 0.7 percent after dropping sharply in December. Pharmaceuticals and communications equipment also rose. But gasoline and energy prices fell last month.

THE OUTLOOK: Prices at the gasoline pump have risen sharply this month. But inflation is expected to remain tame. High unemployment and weak pay gains are making it difficult for retailers to pass on higher costs to consumers.