The word of the day for Wall Street: wobbly. Both the AP and the Wall Street Journal use the word or a variation in describing Thursday's trading. The Dow fell 23 points to 34,577, the S&P 500 fell 15 points to 4,192, and the Nasdaq fell 141 points to 13,614. Investors continue to weigh economic reports, including one showing that weekly jobless claims fell to a new pandemic low of 385,000. On the other hand, another report showed that labor costs are rising faster than expected, which could stoke further fears about inflation. More clarity on the recovery is expected Friday with the release of the monthly jobs report.
“The main concern in the markets, rightfully so, is inflation,” Cliff Hodge, chief investment officer for Cornerstone Wealth, tells the AP. “Data points are beginning to confirm the view that inflation is likely to be more sticky.” Things could have been worse on Thursday: CNBC notes that the Dow was down about 265 points at one point. Analysts were generally predicting that Friday's jobs report would show an increase of about 670,000 jobs, up from the mark of 266,000 in April. (Read more stock market stories.)