Stocks edge higher, erasing weekly loss for the S&P 500

By The Associated Press
Posted 11:30AM on Thursday 10th June 2021 ( 1 month ago )

Stocks edged higher Thursday, bringing the S&P 500 index out of the red for the week. Health care and technology companies were among the biggest gainers.

The S&P 500 index was up 0.2% as of 11:10 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 79 points, or 0.2%, to 34,5260, and the Nasdaq Composite rose 0.2%. Bond yields were steady.

Stock prices rose, though they lost some momentum by midmorning, after the Labor Department said consumer prices jumped 5% in May, the biggest year-over-year increase since 2008. The figure was higher than the 4.6% rise that economists had expected,

While investors have been concerned about inflation for weeks, the May report seemed to reinforce the growing consensus that any increase in inflation will be temporary. A significant portion of the rise in consumer prices was tied to the sale of used cars, for example, which is largely attributed to the fact that many rental car companies are buying vehicles to beef up their fleets as people return to traveling.

“Keep in mind that as we start to make our way back to a full economic recovery, there is pent up demand and supply constraints from raw material and labor shortages,” said Mike Loewengart, a managing director at E-Trade Financial. “This creates the type of inflation that the Fed believes is transitory, meaning it too shall pass. Whether or not they are correct remains to be seen.”

The bond market was steady after the inflation data, with the yield of the 10-year U.S. Treasury note holding at 1.49%.

Investors also reacted positively to more data that showed continued improvement in the labor market. The number of Americans who filed for unemployment benefits last week fell by 9,000 to 376,000, another pandemic low.

Markets are also watching for developments from a summit of the Group of Seven in Britain. At the top of the leaders’ agenda is helping countries recover from the coronavirus pandemic, which has killed more than 3.7 million people and wrecked economies.

The G-7 leaders are meeting for three days at a British seaside resort. It's the first such gathering since before the pandemic.

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