Wall Street’s benchmark, the S&P 500 hit a record intraday high on wall street on Thursday as investors juggled signs of a swift economic recovery with concerns over the Federal Reserve tapering its massive monetary stimulus.
The Labor Department said its consumer price index increased by a more-than-expected 0.6% last month. In the 12 months through May, CPI accelerated at its biggest year-on-year increase since August 2008.
The jump partly reflected the dropping of last spring’s weak readings from the calculation. These so-called base effects are expected to level off in June.
“The numbers were slightly more than expected, but not way outside of the range. I don’t think this going to change the Fed’s view of keeping rates very low,” said Mark Grant, chief global strategist, B. Riley Financial.
The S&P 500 hit a record high of 4,249.74. But heavyweight technology stocks were among the top performers, indicating that investors were still sticking to sectors that had proven reliable through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Focus will now be on the Fed’s monetary policy meeting next week for more clues about the central bank’s stance on tapering its massive stimulus.
A separate report on Thursday from the Labor Department also showed the number of Americans filing for jobless claims fell less than expected last week.
Wall Street Index Performance
At 11:39 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 123.39 points, or 0.36%, at 34,570.53 and the S&P 500 was up 18.18 points, or 0.43%, at 4,237.73. The Nasdaq Composite was up 65.48 points, or 0.47%, at 13,977.23.
Upbeat comments from European Central Bank president Christine Lagarde on transitory euro zone inflation and improving economic trends also helped support sentiment.
The S&P industrials sector lagged its peers, falling 0.2% on wall street as investors appeared to be pricing in a smaller than hoped for infrastructure spending package. Talks over the bill had hit a deadlock in the Senate.
So-called “meme” stocks, which have dominated trading volumes in recent weeks, were again volatile, with several recent retail darlings including Clover Health and AMC flitting between losses and gains.
GameStop Corp, the stock most closely associated with the retail buying frenzy this year, fell 14.7% during wall street trading hours after the company said it may sell new shares, and that the SEC had asked for certain documents as part of its investigation into the stock’s rally this year.
Boeing rose 0.8% on wall street after sources told Reuters United Airlines was in talks to place a multi-billion-dollar order for single-aisle jets potentially split between Boeing and Europe’s Airbus.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.55-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 2.17-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 48 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 72 new highs and nine new lows.