Wall St set to rise at open, unshaken by inflation surge

Wall Street’s main indexes were set to open higher on Friday as investors shrugged off data showing a jump in inflation, although recent worries about a spike in prices kept the on course for its smallest monthly gain since February.

Consumer prices as measured by the personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, excluding the volatile food and energy components, rose 0.7% in April after a 0.4% increase in March. Economists polled by Reuters had expected a 0.6% gain.A separate report from the Commerce Department on Thursday confirmed economic growth accelerated at a 6.4% annualized rate last quarter, thanks to the massive fiscal stimulus.

In the 12 months through April, the so-called core PCE price index vaulted 3.1%, blowing past the Federal Reserve’s 2% target and reflecting pent-up demand as the economy reopens.

“This market is basically fearless right now,” said Dennis Dick, a trader at Bright Trading LLC in Las Vegas.

“There were inflation jitters, most of which the market has shrugged off as there is a fear of missing out among investors as we scale record highs and we are seeing some money get back into tech stocks over the past two weeks.”

With the S&P 500 now hovering about 1% below its record high hit earlier this month, many big banks have warned of a pause in a year-long Wall Street rally that has been led mainly by heavyweight technology stocks including Apple Inc (NASDAQ:) and Inc (NASDAQ:).

Investors are also hedging against market volatility as summer approaches. Strategists expect the S&P 500 to end the year at 4,300 points, according to a Reuters poll, about 100 points above its closing price on Thursday.

Safe-haven assets such as cash and gold funds drew investors during the week to Wednesday, Bank of America (NYSE:)’s fund flow statistics showed.

At 8:45 a.m. ET, were up 157 points, or 0.46%, were up 12.5 points, or 0.3%, and were up 29.25 points, or 0.21%. Inc (NYSE:) added 5.4% premarket after raising its full-year forecast for revenue and profit, helped by increased demand for its cloud-based software during the pandemic.

HP Inc (NYSE:) reported quarterly revenue that beat Wall Street estimates but its shares fell 5.8% after it warned that the ongoing computer chip shortage could impact its ability to meet demand for laptops this year.

Boeing (NYSE:) Co fell 1.2% after reports said it halted deliveries of its 787 Dreamliners, adding fresh delays for customers following a recent five-month delivery suspension due to production problems.

AMC Entertainment (NYSE:) jumped 9.6%, leading gains among the so-called “meme” stocks on the back of a social media-led hype that helped double the value of AMC’s stock this week.

The U.S. stock market will remain shut on Monday for Memorial Day holiday.

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Spot gold fell 0.24% to $1,892.16 per ounce, having slipped back below the key psychological $1,900 level.

Oil prices rose on Thursday, bolstered by strong U.S. economic data that offset investors’ concerns about the potential for a rise in Iranian supplies. [L2N2NE098]

Brent gained 20 cents to $69.07 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude added 32 cents to $66.53 a barrel.

Reporting by Chibuike Oguh in New York, Editing by William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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