Stocks Close Higher and Snap 3-Session Losing Streak

Stocks rebound as investors weigh a jump in producer prices against a fall in weekly jobless claims.
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Stocks finished sharply higher Thursday, rising for the first time in four sessions, as investors weighed a jump in producer prices against a fall in weekly jobless claims.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average finished up 433 points, or 1.29%, to 34,021, the S&P 500 gained 1.22% and the Nasdaq rose 0.72%. The tech-heavy Nasdaq had risen nearly 1.7% earlier in the session.

Tesla  (TSLA) - Get Report shares fell Thursday after CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the electric-vehicle company was no longer accepting payments in bitcoin because of environmental concerns.

Tesla finished down 3.1% on Thursday. Bitcoin fell 10.36% to $48,838.

Producer prices in the U.S. in April increased 0.6% from March, adding to inflation pressures that have sunk equities this week. 

The number of Americans filing for first-time unemployment benefits, meanwhile, declined by 34,000 last week to a pandemic low of 473,000 as employers looked to add workers lost during the virus lockdowns.

"While (Thursday's) PPI read and jobless claims numbers put more pressure on the (Federal Reserve) to take action, the jury is out on how the market will interpret the data," said Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E-Trade.

"CPI and PPI go hand in hand and given (Wednesday's) read, this was likely expected. Taking a step back from inflation, the fact that jobless claims hit another pandemic-era low suggests we’re inching even closer to full reopening, which is no doubt a good thing," he added.

Stocks ended lower Wednesday for a third straight session after consumer inflation in the U.S. rose in April by the most since 2009. The Dow suffered its worst day since January.

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Investors have grown increasingly worried that persistent inflation - and record high prices for commodities and underlying wage pressures - will force the Federal Reserve to pull back on stimulus and boost near-zero interest rates.

The Fed has insisted that any spike in inflation would be temporary. Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Richard Clarida said as much on Wednesday and added the central bank "would not hesitate to act” if necessary to bring inflation down to its "2% longer-run goal."

Oil prices in the U.S. fell 3.54% Thursday after Colonial Pipeline, the biggest U.S. pipeline, slowly started to return to service following a cyberattack at the end of last week.

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Shares of Alibaba  (BABA) - Get Report dropped 6.3% after the Chinese e-commerce giant reported a revenue beat but a quarterly loss that included a $2.78 billion antitrust fine.