(Reuters) – U.S. stocks rose on Friday with broad-based gains as investors looked to economic recovery prospects after worries about a prolonged period of inflation sparked a volatile week of trading.
Futures pared some gains after data showed U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled in April, as a boost from stimulus checks faded.
“The disappointing retail sales numbers shouldn’t really come as a huge surprise given that last month encompassed stimulus money hitting bank accounts,” said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E*TRADE Financial.
“It probably supports the point of view that the dip we experienced this week is a buying opportunity as all sectors march toward full recovery.”
Wall Street’s major indexes are set for their steepest weekly drop since February after stronger-than-expected inflation data, signs of labor shortage and higher commodity prices this week raised bets the Federal Reserve would have to pare back its crisis level support.
The three main indexes snapped a three-day losing streak on Thursday after better-than-expected weekly jobless claims data.
In signs that life was returning to normal, revised guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said fully vaccinated people do not need to wear masks outdoors and can avoid wearing them indoors in most places.
All major S&P sectors were higher, with energy leading gains as oil prices gained ground. [O/R]
The CBOE volatility index, a measure for investors’ anxiety, slipped to 20.57 after spiking to a more than two-month high earlier this week.
At 9:51 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 261.03 points, or 0.77%, at 34,282.48, the S&P 500 was up 37.47 points, or 0.91%, at 4,149.97. The Nasdaq Composite was up 127.14 points, or 0.97%, at 13,252.13.
Mega-cap growth stocks, which have been beaten down this week on concerns over their lofty valuations, led gains in early trading with Apple Inc, Amazon.com Inc and Microsoft Corp gaining about 1% each and Tesla Inc adding 2%.
Disappointing subscriber additions for Walt Disney Co’s namesake streaming service overshadowed better-than-expected overall profits, driving down shares of the entertainment company by 4.8%.
Airbnb Inc rose 0.7% despite beating analysts’ expectations for first-quarter gross bookings and revenue.
General Mills Inc edged up 0.4% on a deal to buy Tyson Foods Inc’s pet treats business for $1.2 billion in cash, as the cereal maker builds its pet food portfolio.
Tyson shares added 1.2%.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 5.87-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 3.26-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded eight new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 40 new highs and 26 new lows.
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