Stocks had a seesaw day on Thursday, though the swings weren't big in either direction. When all was said and done, the Dow rose 14 points to 35,499 and the S&P 500 gained 13 points to 4,460, both of which are record highs. The tech-centric Nasdaq gained 51 points to 14,816, and big tech stocks in general helped counter a dip from chipmakers, per the AP. Apple rose 1.8% and Adobe rose 1.2%, while Micron Technology fell 7.1% for the biggest decline in the S&P 500. Banks and health-care stocks also made gains, while industrial firms and a range of consumer-facing companies slipped. Investors were working through a mixed picture of economic data. The Labor Department said that jobless claims fell to 375,000 from 387,000 the previous week, another sign that the job market is healing from the pandemic.
But at the same time, inflation at the wholesale level jumped a higher-than-expected 1% in July, matching the rise from the previous month, and dimming hopes that the upward trajectory of prices would begin to slow. The producer price index has risen a record 7.8% over the last 12 months. That's the largest one-year increase in a series going back to 2010. The hopes for a continued recovery in the jobs market and concerns about inflation are hovering over the market as investors try to gauge the pace of economic growth after a sharp increase earlier in the year. Analysts expect the economy to grow at a slower pace as the economy moves past the pandemic and the sharp comparisons between 2021 and 2020.
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