US stocks rally as investors weigh stalling retail sales and inflation guidance

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE)
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

  • Stocks rose Friday even as April retail sales stalled from last month’s jump
  • Fed officials this week have been assuring investors that monetary policy will remain support for economic recovery.
  • Stocks were on course to rise for a second straight session.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US stocks rose Friday, remaining on higher ground following flat monthly retail sales as investors appeared to lock into assurances by Federal Reserve officials that they will stick with monetary policies that support economic recovery.

All three of Wall Street’s benchmark indexes were on track to build on Thursday’s gains that snapped a three-session losing streak. Advances for stocks Friday came even after the Commerce Department said retail sales in April were virtually unchanged from the previous month. The print missed the estimated 1% increase in sales from economists surveyed by Bloomberg.

Here’s where US indexes stood at 9:30 a.m. on Friday:

Retail sales boomed in March in part as Americans spent stimulus money sent to them by the government in an effort to help the economy continue improving after last year’s COVID-induced recession.

The miss in retail sales appeared to be offset by comments made Friday by Cleveland Fed Bank President Loretta Mester who said in Bloomberg Television on Friday that monetary policy is in a “good place” as officials still work on improving employment levels.

Her view on leaving policy where is it for now followed comments this week by Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller, Fed Governor Lael Brainard and Fed Vice Chairman Richard Clarida who said the central bank will look past likely transitory inflation pressures and stick with near-zero interest rates to aid the world’s largest economy.

Around the markets, Coinbase shares rose following the crypto exchange’s first-quarter results, and as the company said it will soon add dogecoin to its roster of digital currencies to trade.

Gold rose to $1,835 per ounce. Long-dated US treasury yields fell, with the 10-year yield at 1.632%.

Oil prices rose. West Texas Intermediate crude picked up 0.8% to $64.31 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, climbed 1.3% to $67.89 per barrel.

Bitcoin rose 1.3% to $50, 383.

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