Stock market today: Indexes trade mixed after hitting records as markets wait for Fed comments

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  • The Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 40,000 for the first time ever Thursday. 
  • Stocks are on a record-setting run after a soft April inflation reading, with the S&P 500 extending gains after a record close on Wednesday. 
  • Investors are tuned in to fresh comments from several Fed presidents on Thursday. 

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The Dow Jones Industrial Average surpassed 40,000 for the first time ever on Thursday, with stocks extending gains following Wednesday’s cooler inflation reading for April. 

The S&P 500 closed above 5,300 for the first time ever Wednesday, boosted by softer April inflation data. On Thursday, investors will hear from five Federal Reserve presidents, and will be listening for clues about the direction of interest rates after the first upbeat inflation report of the year.

“The recent technical momentum and fundamental strengths, including earnings and interest rates, suggest further near-term gains,” John Lynch, CIO for Comerica Wealth Management, said Thursday shortly before the Dow crossed the 40,000 threshold. 

 Fed presidents Tom Barkin, Patrick Harker, Loretta Mester, and Raphael Bostic are set to speak throughout the day, with Fed president John Williams giving an interview before the opening bell. 

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“The overall trend looks reasonably good,” Williams said regarding inflation during an interview with Reuters. Yet, he also noted that monetary policy is “in a good place” and that he doesn’t feel in a rush to change the Fed’s approach just yet. 

Jobless claims were lower than expected, the Labor Department said Thursday. The number of Americans filing for state unemployment benefits fell by 10,000 in the week ending May 11. 

The week’s big meme stock rally appears to be over as GameStop and AMC continue to drop from highs earlier in the week. 

“We are in a bull market and people are showing some irrational exuberance (meme stocks) and dismissing bad news (slowing retail sales) and focusing on good news (slightly slowing inflation),” Chris Zaccarelli, CIO for Independent Advisor Alliance, said Thursday. 

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Here’s where US indexes stood at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday: 

Here’s what else is going on today:

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In commodities, bonds, and crypto: 

  • West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose 0.7% to $79.15 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, ticked higher 0.5% to $83.13 a barrel. 
  • Gold dipped 0.5% to $2,383.30 per ounce. 
  • The 10-year Treasury yield was about flat at 3.354%. 
  • Bitcoin rose 3.8% to $65,971.