Home » Stock Indexes Book Records After Inflation Eases

Stock Indexes Book Records After Inflation Eases

All three major U.S. stock indexes closed at records after the latest inflation report showed price pressures moderating, bucking a trend of hotter-than-expected readings.

The S&P 500, Dow Jones Industrial Average and Nasdaq Composite logged all-time highs on the same day for the first time since March 21. The S&P 500 gained 1.2% on Wednesday, while the Dow industrials climbed 0.9%, adding roughly 350 points. The index is fewer than 100 points away from hitting 40,000. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite rose 1.4%

The benchmark 10-year Treasury yield slipped to 4.354%, its third consecutive day of declines.

U.S. inflation eased slightly in April, fresh data showed. Three previous Labor Department readings had suggested persistent inflation across much of the U.S. economy this year, casting doubt on if and when the Federal Reserve might lower interest rates. 

The April report is unlikely to cause the Fed to immediately lower interest rates, but it has soothed investor fears that persistently hot inflation might force central bank officials to keep them elevated for a prolonged period or even raise them further. Investors are currently betting that the Fed will cut rates at least once by its September meeting. 

“This inflation report offered hope to the market,” said Quincy Krosby, chief global strategist for LPL Financial. “But this is just the beginning of what is needed to help the Fed confirm that inflation is beginning to move downward.”

Softer retail sales data supported investor optimism that the Fed’s goal of taming inflation is progressing. Fresh figures showed American shoppers are showing signs of spending fatigue, with retail sales data for April coming in sharply below expectations. Slower spending could help price pressures moderate further, Krosby said. 

A wild two-day run for meme stocks sputtered Wednesday. GameStop and AMC Entertainment surged this week in a manner reminiscent of the 2021 retail-trading frenzy, fueled by social-media posts. Those shares crashed 18.9% and 20%, respectively, though they are still up more than 125% and 88% for the week.

“People have money to gamble,” said Brad McMillan, chief investment officer for Commonwealth Financial Network. “When things are really bad, people aren’t willing to make those kinds of bets.”

Gains in the S&P 500 were led by the technology sector. Shares of Super Micro Computer rallied 15.8%, while Advanced Micro Devices gained more than 4%. 

Bitcoin rose 7.4%, trading above $66,000 apiece.

Front-month copper futures rose to yet another record, while silver settled at a 52-week high. Gold rose, too, settling near record highs.

Overseas, mainland Chinese stock indexes edged lower after the Biden administration raised tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles and other products. The Stoxx Europe 600 finished at a fresh record high.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *