(Reuters) – The latest leg of a surge in so-called “meme stocks” stood out on Wall Street on Wednesday, with the main stock indexes rising slightly ahead of closely watched economic data this week.
The technology sector rose 0.8%, providing the biggest boost to the benchmark S&P 500, while communication services and materials eased.
A weekly unemployment report and May private payrolls data on Thursday will be followed by monthly jobs numbers on Friday.
Investors are closely tracking the labor market’s recovery after an unexpected slowdown in jobs growth in April fanned inflation worries.
The benchmark S&P 500 has recovered most of its losses following a more than 4% pullback in mid-May on fears over rising prices and a subsequent tightening of policy from the Federal Reserve. The index is now just about 1% from its peak.
The blue-chip Dow and the tech-heavy Nasdaq are about 1.5% and 3.0% from their respective all-time highs.
“The speed of the economic recovery has caused some dislocations and makes it hard for investors to get a proper hold on whether the inflationary patterns are transient or persistent,” said Rob Sechan, managing partner and co-founder of NewEdge Wealth.
“However, we think the reopening (of the economy) will overpower these concerns.”
The S&P 500 slipped after three straight days of gains on Tuesday as losses in healthcare and technology stocks offset gains in economically sensitive financials and energy sectors after upbeat U.S. factory activity data. At 10:08 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 58.33 points, or 0.17%, at 34,633.64 and the S&P 500 was up 8.02 points, or 0.19%, at 4,210.06. The Nasdaq Composite was up 12.88 points, or 0.09%, at 13,749.35.
AMC Entertainment (NYSE:AMC) Holdings Inc surged 24.8% as individual traders on social media forums were unfazed by a hedge fund flipping its stake in AMC, calling it overvalued.
Later in the day, investors will turn to the Fed’s “Beige Book” report, a summary of the state of business across the central bank’s 12 regional districts.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.05-to-1 ratio on the NYSE. Declining issues outnumbered advancers for a 1.10-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 40 new 52-week highs and no new lows, while the Nasdaq recorded 78 new highs and 10 new lows.