Wall Street edges higher after inflation beats forecasts

June 11, 2021 - 2 weeks ago
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Wall Street closed near session highs on Thursday, as investors assessed a bigger-than-expected climb in the U.S. Consumer Price Index (CPI) and also figures showing claims by Americans for unemployment benefits reached their lowest since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.

At the finishing bell, on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), the broad-based benchmark Standard & Poor’s 500 Index set a new closing record, climbing +19.63 points, or +0.47%, to a record closing high of 4,239.18.

The S&P 500 also hit an intraday record of 4,249.74, overtaking its May 7 high after the market traded sideways for a month.

The blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced +19.10 points, or less than +0.1%, to 34,466.24, while the technology-focused Nasdaq Composite Index climbed +108.58 points, or +0.78%, to 14,020.33.

The Dow and Nasdaq are both within 1% of the all-time highs they hit this spring.

The yield on 10-year Treasury notes edged down to 1.458%, its lowest level in more than three months, from 1.489% on Wednesday.

U.S. headline inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) jumped again in May, marking its highest annual inflation rate since the summer of 2008 amid the economic recovery from the pandemic-triggered recession, the Labor Department said on Thursday.

The U.S. (CPI), which represents a basket including food, energy, groceries, and prices across a spectrum of goods, rose 0.6% in May on a seasonally adjusted basis and was up a stunning 5.0% from a year ago, coming in hotter than consensus expectations.

The U.S. core (CPI), which excludes food and energy, was up 3.8% year on year, the highest since 1992.

Used cars and trucks prices surged 7.3% in May from April and were up 29.7% from a year ago.

That component alone accounted for about a third of the month-on-month increase.

New cars and trucks prices rose a more modest but still robust 1.6% in May from April and were up 3.3% from a year ago.

Separate data released Thursday showed U.S. jobless claims for the week ended June 5 came in at 376,000, versus the 370,000 forecasts, extending a recent decline for unemployment benefits and adding to signs of a healing labour market.

However, the total still marked the lowest of the pandemic era.

Video-game retailer and meme stock GameStop fell -27% even after the company tapped former Amazon executive Matt Furlong to be its next CEO and said that sales rose +25% last quarter. The company also said it may sell up to 5 million additional shares.

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