Stocks move higher; S&P 500 headed for best week since April

Business

Stocks were higher Friday, keeping the market on track for its biggest weekly gain since April. Investors got another set of data showing that inflation is likely going to remain under control for the time being, a relief for investors who have remained keenly focused on the issue for weeks.

The S&P 500 was up 0.3% as of 11:30 a.m. Eastern. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite was up less than 0.1%. All three indexes are up 2.5% or more this week alone.

The Dow’s gains were being driven by a surge in Nike, which reported blowout earnings late Thursday and gave investors a strong outlook for the year. Nike jumped 14%.

Markets have calmed since the Federal Reserve surprised investors last week by saying it could start raising short-term interest rates by late 2023, earlier than expected, if recent high inflation persists.

Investors got another data point on inflation on Friday. The Commerce Department said inflation tied to a gauge of consumer spending that is closely watched by the Federal Reserve increased 0.4% in May and is up 3.9% over the past 12 months, well above the Fed’s 2% target for annual price increases.

“Today’s inflation data should calm some nerves about runaway inflation. Remember, the PCE is the Fed’s favorite measure of inflation, and it very well could be near a peak in inflation,” Ryan Detrick, chief market strategist for LPL Financial, wrote in an email to investors.

Investors are also embracing a bipartisan deal for infrastructure spending. President Biden and a group of Democrat and GOP senators were able to reach a near $1 trillion deal to build out numerous parts of the country’s infrastructure, including roads, rails and ports. The plan, costing $973 billion over five years, is the culmination of months of talks, and a larger spending plan from President Biden is still possible later this year.

FedEx fell 4% after the company announced it would increase its spending to reduce delivery delays across its network.

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