Phil Rosen

trader, NYSE

The Dow erased its losses from earlier in the week on Thursday.
Xinhua/Wang Ying/ Getty Images
  • US stocks jumped Thursday. The Dow regained losses from earlier in the week, and the S&P 500 hit a record. 
  • Investors shook off softer-than-expected retail sales data for January and bond yields fell. 
  • Closely watched producer inflation data will be released Friday, giving another clue about Fed policy. 

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US stocks climbed Thursday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average gaining 300 points to regain its losses from earlier in the week as investors largely shrugged off a mixed bag of economic data. The S&P 500 closed the session at another record high. 

Investors are bracing for another fresh inflation datapoint to cap off the week. On Friday, the producer price index is due out, which will provide further insight into the Federal Reserve’s next move when it kicks off its policy meeting on March 19. 

Before the opening bell on Thursday, the Commerce Department reported retail sales data for January dipped 0.8%, lower than the expected 0.3% drop.

Bond yields dipped as investors assessed the outlook for softer Fed policy as a result of the weaker retail data and its implication for the strength of the broader economy. The 10-year Treasury yield fell three basis points to 4.236%. 

“The slowdown in sales is a sign that the economic momentum from the end of 2023 may be starting to fade,” said Sam Millette, Director of Fixed Income for Commonwealth Financial Network. “Bond yields fell immediately following the release, as investors believe that a potential slowdown in economic activity could support rate cuts from the Federal Reserve later in the year.”

Meanwhile, initial unemployment claims also came in below the estimated 220,000 at 212,000.

Fresh data also pointed to a slowdown in industrial and manufacturing production, while homebuilders sentiment hit a six-month high. 

“Better-than-expected economic data and Tuesday’s uptick in core consumer inflation have repriced Federal Fed rate cut expectations further out on the calendar,” Adam Turnquist, chief technical strategist for LPL Financial, wrote in a note.

“Fed funds futures are now pricing in June as the most likely scenario for the first cut, as implied probabilities for a 25 basis point rate cut in May are only around 50%,” he added. 

Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4:00 p.m. ET closing bell on Thursday: 

Here’s what else is going on: 

In commodities, bonds, and crypto: 

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