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Stocks fall barely as investors await key inflation data

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Stocks were modestly lower on Thursday as investors monitored the health of the economy ahead of a key inflation report.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 175 points, or 0.5%. The S&P 500 dipped 0.5%, and the Nasdaq Composite shed 0.6%.

Casino stocks were a few of the worst performers within the S&P 500, with Las Vegas Sands falling 3.4% and Caesars Entertainment falling 2.3%. Chinese tech stocks reversed recent gains, with Pinduoduo falling greater than 6%.

Shares of Five Below dropped greater than 5% after first-quarter sales got here in softer than anticipated and the retailer shared weak guidance for the present period.

Tesla rose greater than 2% after UBS upgraded the stock to purchase. The firm also said the electrical vehicle maker can rally greater than 50% from current levels.

Investors have been assessing the health of the U.S. economy, with a key inflation report due out on Friday. The Federal Reserve has began mountaineering rates in an try and cool inflation without tipping the economic into recession.

Higher energy prices and continued supply chain disruptions have kept inflation persistently high in recent months, while some economic data has shown slowing growth in recent weeks.

“There’s a whole lot of headfakes occurring. And unfortunately we’re not going to get a whole lot of clean looks on the economy, whether the U.S. economy or actually the worldwide economy, for quite a while because there’s just so many things which can be hard to decipher,” said Michael Skordeles, senior U.S. macro strategist at Truist.

Oil prices dipped barely on Thursday, but U.S. West Texas Intermediate crude still held above $120 per barrel.

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Initial jobless claims rose to 229,000 last week, worse than the 210,000 expected.

Shares of Goal were little modified after the corporate announced a dividend hike. The payout raise comes after a disappointing first quarter and a profit warning for the second quarter from the retail giant.

Stocks appeared to maneuver opposite bond yields, which were volatile after an update from the European Central Bank. The ECB confirmed its plan to hike rates of interest in July and possibly again in September. The ECB also raised its inflation projection for 2022 to six.8%, up from 5.1% previously, and lowered its growth outlook.

“The ECB has never provided clearer forward guidance than they did today, signalling that a 0.50% policy rate increase is probably going unless inflation pressures subside. With energy prices, if anything, on an upward path and provide chain concerns unlikely to ease within the near future, inflation pressures is not going to be quickly eroded,” said Seema Shah, chief strategist at Principal Global Investors.

The ten-year U.S. Treasury yield was hovering above 3.05% in choppy trading.

On Wednesday, the Dow dipped 269.24 points, or 0.81%, to 32,910.90, while the S&P 500 shed 1.08% to shut at 4,115.77. The Nasdaq Composite slid 0.73% to complete at 12,086.27.

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