S&P 500 hits record high as traders sidestep hotter-than-expected-inflation reading

S&P 500 hits record high as traders sidestep hotter-than-expected-inflation reading
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  • US stocks advanced Thursday, pushing the S&P 500 to a record high.
  • Investors pushed past a hotter-than-expected May inflation print of 5%.
  • Stocks also found support as fewer Americans filed for jobless claims last week.

The S&P 500 climbed to a record high Thursday in a winning session for US stocks as investors appeared to embrace the Federal Reserve's signals that hot inflation readings will be temporary and that it will stick with economic support measures.

The broad-market index soared to a record high just under 4,240 and the Nasdaq Composite surpassed 14,000 for the first time since early May. The Dow Jones Industrial Average gained ground after a string of three consecutive losses.

Stock indexes had been mixed early Thursday after the Labor Department said consumer prices in May rose 0.6%, a higher rate than expectations of 0.5%. Headline inflation jumped to 5% year over year, outstripping expectations of 4.6% from an Econoday survey of economists.


Separately, government data showed claims by Americans seeking unemployment benefits reached their lowest since the start of the coronavirus outbreak. New claims last week clocked in at 376,000.

Here's where US indexes stood at 4 p.m. on Thursday:

Federal Reserve officials have signaled to market participants that they see inflationary pressures as transitory and that the central bank is unlikely to raise ultra-low interest rates before 2023.


"It is perhaps testament to how effective the Fed's adjustment in communication has been recently since today's [inflation] reading would likely have caused a very different reaction if it had come before the gentle shift in tone that has reassured investors about the responsiveness of Fed policy," said Chris Beauchamp, chief market analyst at IG, in a note.

Around the markets, GameStop lost nearly 30% during the session after the video game retailer said it may sell up to 5 million shares and that the Securities and Exchange Commission has requested information as part of its investigation into the trading of its shares.

Clean Energy Fuels stock sank after regulatory filings revealed the company's largest shareholder, TotalEnergies SE, cut its stake by more than 10 million shares.


Gold rose 0.4% to $1,895.38 per ounce. Long-dated US Treasury yields turned lower, with the 10-year yield down at 1.465% to its lowest since early March.

Oil prices rose, with West Texas Intermediate crude up by 0.5% at $70.28 per barrel. Brent crude, oil's international benchmark, was up 0.3%, at $72.42 per barrel.

Bitcoin climbed 4% to $38,000 before paring gains to trade around $36,665.80.