(Reuters) - Wall Street jumped on Thursday, and Apple inched closer to a $1 trillion stock market value, as tepid inflation data eased worries of faster U.S. interest rate hikes this year.
Fueled by a $100 billion buyback plan unveiled last week, Apple rose 1.43 percent to a record high close of $190.04, lifting the S&P 500 more than any other stock. The iPhone maker is about 7 percent away from becoming the first company ever to have a market capitalization of $1 trillion.
The U.S. Labor Department’s consumer price index increased 0.2 percent in April, less than economists’ expectations, as rising costs for gasoline and rental accommodation were tempered by a moderation in healthcare prices.
Core CPI, which excludes food and energy components, edged up 0.1 percent in April, slower than the previous two months, and did little to alter traders’ expectations of a June rate hike. [MMT/]
A higher inflation number could have increased fears of more aggressive interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve.
“The CPI came in at a level where it’s not so alarming as far as what the Fed is thinking,” said Mark Kepner, an equity trader at Themis Trading in Chatham, New Jersey. “There’s comfort that the Fed won’t have to move too quickly.”
The U.S. stock market rallied broadly, with all 11 major S&P sectors posting gains.
With investors setting aside concerns about a trade war with China, the S&P 500 has risen 3.55 percent in the past week, its strongest five-session showing since February. The S&P 500 reclaimed its 100-day moving average for the first time since April 19, suggesting to some traders that the market may move higher.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied 0.8 percent to end at 24,739.53 points,