Stocks Rise on Wall Street, Indices Point to Weekly Gains | Economic news

By DAMIAN J. TROISE, AP Business Writer

Stocks rose Thursday morning on Wall Street, keeping the market on track for solid gains during the shortened holiday week.

The S&P 500 was up 0.6% at 10:14 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 245 points, or 0.7%, to 35,996 and the Nasdaq rose 0.5%.

About 85% of the stocks in the benchmark S&P 500 gained ground, led by tech companies and banks. The index is on track for a gain of 2.3% this week. US markets will be closed on Friday for Christmas.

Cisco systems, which make routers and other computer hardware, rose 1.8%. Chipmaker Micron Technology grew 3.3%.

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Bond yields rose and helped push banks up. The 10-year Treasury yield rose to 1.50% from 1.46% on Wednesday night.

Banks rely on higher bond yields to charge more lucrative interest on loans. Bank of America rose 1.1%.

Secure sectors like real estate and utilities have lagged the market.

European markets were up and Asian markets closed higher overnight.

Investors received several economic updates on Thursday before heading for a holiday break for the markets.

The Commerce Department said U.S. consumer prices rose 5.7% in November from a year earlier, the fastest pace in 39 years, as a surge in inflation confronts Americans with the holiday shopping season. Companies have faced supply chain issues and higher raw material costs, and in turn passed these costs on to consumers.

Rising prices have raised fears that consumer spending, which accounts for 70% of U.S. economic activity, could slow and hurt economic growth. The latest report shows spending rose 0.6%, well below October’s 1.4% increase.

The Labor Department said the number of Americans claiming unemployment benefits was unchanged last week, remaining at an all-time low that reflects the strong recovery in the labor market after the coronavirus recession last year.

The latest data on prices and jobs comes as investors continue to assess the potential impact of the latest wave of coronavirus cases due to the omicron variant. Governments in Asia and Europe have tightened travel controls or pushed back plans to ease restrictions already in place.

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