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S&P 500 rises to new record, shaking off inflation fears

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US stocks rose Thursday as investors shook off a major inflation report that showed a stronger-than-expected spike in price pressures.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 200 points while the S&P 500 rose 0.4%. The Nasdaq Composite traded 0.2% higher despite rising bond yields.

May consumer prices accelerated the fastest since summer 2008 amid the economic recovery from the pandemic-triggered recession, the Labor Department reported Thursday.

The consumer price index, which is a basket of food, energy and groceries across a range of goods, rose 5% year over year. Economists polled by Dow Jones had expected an increase of 4.7%.

Fears of a surge in inflation weighed on the stock market for the last month, with investors worried that the rise in prices will add costs to businesses, spike interest rates, and cause the Federal Reserve to abandon its easy money policy.

“This CPI is unlikely to change the narrative dramatically and there are still signs that inflationary momentum will weaken in the coming months,” Adam Crisafulli, founder of Vital Knowledge, said in a statement Thursday.

Many economists also said the used car cost increase for the month may have skewed the inflation indicator. Used car and truck prices rose more than 7%, according to BLS, accounting for a third of the total increase for the month. The rise in used car prices likely reflects a temporary phenomenon related to the pandemic and car supply.

UPS stock rose roughly 1% in pre-trading hours after upgrading JPMorgan. The shares of Boeing and Delta Air Lines also gained in the pre-market trading.

US markets continued to trade within a tight range on Wednesday, with all three major indices ending the day within 0.5% of Tuesday’s closing prices. The Dow, S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite all fell during regular trading, ending the session further away from their respective all-time highs.

The S&P 500 remains closest to its benchmark and is only 0.44% away from a new all-time high. The Dow and Nasdaq are about 2% off the records.

Video game retailer and meme stock GameStop fell 7% in pre-market trading, even after the company named former Amazon executive Matt Furlong as its next CEO and said sales rose 25% in the most recent quarter. The company also said it can sell up to 5 million additional shares.

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Robert Dunfee