Wall Street on track to snap 3-day losing streak as technology stocks rise

(Reuters) – Wall Street’s main indexes rebounded after a three-day slide on Thursday, driven by gains in technology stocks as the smallest weekly jobless claims since the start of a pandemic-driven recession lifted the mood.

FILE PHOTO: The front facade of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) is seen in New York City, U.S., May 4, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

Bitcoin regained some lost ground to trade near $40,000 a day after a brutal selloff, helping renew appetite for risk. Crypto-exchange operator Coinbase Global rose 3.7%. Crypto-miner Riot Blockchain fell 1%, Marathon Digital Holdings dropped 1.5%.

“There’s a big risk of regulatory risk to crypto. That’s not fully appreciated,” said Jay Hatfield, founder and chief executive of Infrastructure Capital Management in New York. “The central banks have a monopoly on currency. And so we just think that it’s a little bit surprising they haven’t enforced that monopoly.”

The number of Americans filing for new claims for unemployment benefits fell to 444,000 in the week ended May 15, down for the third straight time, suggesting job growth picked up this month, though companies still are desperate for workers.

Wall Street’s main indexes fell for the third consecutive session on Wednesday after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s meeting last month indicated many policymakers thought it would be appropriate to discuss easing of crisis-era support, such as tapering bond purchases, in upcoming meetings if the strong economic momentum is sustained.

“Right now really there is just one driver of the market, and that is the Fed and potential timing of tapering and quantitative easing,” Hatfield added.

Signs of rising inflation have increased bets that the Federal Reserve may tighten its policy soon, hitting rate-sensitive growth stocks that set the tech-heavy Nasdaq on track for its fifth consecutive weekly drop.

Technology and communication services rose the most among the 11 major S&P sectors. Energy was the only sector in the red. By 1:47PM ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 228.16 points, or 0.67%, to 34,124.2, the S&P 500 gained 45.46 points, or 1.10%, to 4,161.14 and the Nasdaq Composite added 229.57 points, or 1.73%, to 13,529.30.

Retailers were a weak spot. Ralph Lauren Corp dropped 8.33% after it forecast full-year sales below analysts’ estimates.

Kohl’s Corp slumped 10.02% after warning of a hit to its full-year profit margin from higher labor and shipping costs, as well as selling fewer products at full price.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.69-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.74-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 13 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 50 new highs and 22 new lows.

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