Dow climbs 600 points as U.S. stocks on track to snap three weeks of losses

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U.S. stocks surged to their highest levels of the day Friday morning following a weaker-than-expected reading on inflation expectations. The rise in stocks left all three U.S. equity benchmarks on track to cement their first gain in three weeks.

On Thursday, the Dow industrials DJIA, 1.92% climbed 194.23 points, or 0.6%, to end near session highs at 30,677.36, after moving between gains and losses. The S&P 500  SPX, 2.17% rose 1% to end at 3,795.73. The Nasdaq Composite COMP, 2.29%  increased 179.11 points, or 1.6%, closing at 11,232.19.

What’s driving the markets?

Behind part of the renewed vigor for stocks has been a moderation in inflation expectations that has occurred this week. On Friday, the University of Michigan’s final reading on consumer sentiment showed expectations for inflation five to 10 years out had been revised lower to 3.1%.

Bond yields have cooled, with the 10-year Treasury note yield TMUBMUSD10Y, 3.123% receding this week at its fastest rate since March, although yields were modestly higher again on Friday.

Market strategists are starting to question whether slowing growth and rising unemployment might already be having an impact on inflation …

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