S&P 500 ends at record as US stocks shrug off inflation spike

The S&P 500 finished at a fresh record Thursday as markets took in stride data showing another spike in annual inflation last month to the highest rate in 13 years.

Pedestrians walk past the New York Stock Exchange in New York, the United States, Nov. 9, 2020. (Photo: Xinhua)

The most broad-based of the major equity indices gained 0.5 percent to finish at 4,239.18 to overtake the prior record set May 7.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average edged up 0.1 percent to 34,466.24, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index jumped 0.8 percent to close at 14,020.33.

The hotly-anticipated consumer price index report showed the US inflation rate accelerated to five percent for the 12 months ending May.

The increase was driven largely by spikes in energy and used car prices, which analysts attributed to separate but temporary factors.

"It's another case where we had another blockbuster inflation report and nobody cared," Karl Haeling of LBBW told AFP. "The market looked the other way."

Art Hogan, chief market strategist at National Securities, noted that while the annual CPI topped expectations, but the monthly gain slowed to 0.6 percent in May from 0.8 percent in April, which largely validates the Federal Reserve's stance that higher inflation will be transitory.

"We may be getting close to a peak and it will start to decelerate in the June, July timeframe," Hogan said.

Among individual companies, RH surged 15.7 percent as the home and furnishings retailer lifted its full-year forecast, pointing to pent-up demand as the economy reopens from Covid-19.

GameStop sank 27.2 percent as the videogame retailer announced it recruited a pair of Amazon executives as chief executive and chief financial officer. The company, a favorite of retail investors organized on the Reddit platform, reported a smaller-than-expected quarterly loss.