US stocks end at fresh records after latest price data

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NEW YORK – Wall stocks finished at fresh records again on Thursday (Aug 12) after a choppy session as investors weigh data showing an uptick in wholesale prices.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average ended at 35,499.85, inching up less than 15 points to secure a third straight record.

The broad-based S&P 500 gained 0.3 per cent to finish at 4,460.83, also a third straight record, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 0.4 per cent to 14,816.26.

Producer prices rose one percent in July from the prior month, double the increase expected by analysts, while the annual rate hit another record 6.1 per cent.

The data added to expectations the Federal Reserve will shift course and pull back on its stimulus efforts, starting with a slowdown in the pace of bong buying.

The first signal of a move could come as soon as this month when Federal Reserve Chief Jerome Powell is due address the annual central banking conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

But the market has taken the expected shift in stride, viewing the inflation data as unsurprising. The producer price report comes on the heels of Wednesday’s consumer price index that was seen by investors as more benign than expected.

“With these inflation numbers, expectations are of an announcement of tapering so the market is beginning to price that in,” said Peter Cardillo of Spartan Securities.

“We are in the middle of August, volume is light,” he said. “Nobody is really interested in doing very much especially with the Jackson Hole meeting a couple of weeks away.”

Elsewhere, US claims fell by 12,000 last week to 375,000 seasonally adjusted, the third consecutive week of declines, in the latest of an improving job market.

Investors have cheered the better economic data, which has helped to offset worries about the latest surge in Covid-19 cases.

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