By Anna Hirtenstein and Xie Yu 

U.S. stocks rose Thursday, putting major indexes on track to end a three-day losing streak.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 102 points, or 0.3%, to 33689 shortly after the opening bell, chipping away at gains after logging its steepest three-day decline since late October. The S&P 500 gained 0.7%, and the Nasdaq Composite jumped 1.2%.

Investors have been jittery this week: consumer prices surged higher in April, prompting concerns that the Federal Reserve may move on interest rates or scale back bond purchases sooner than expected. But central bank officials have repeatedly said that they expect any jump in inflation to be transitory. A Fed policy maker on Wednesday said more data would be necessary for the central bank to begin scaling back its easy-money policies.

The latest weekly jobless claims data, a proxy for layoffs, showed that 473,000 people applied for unemployment benefits last week. Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had forecast 500,000 new filings. Claims have come down from a recent January peak of about 900,000, though they still remain substantially higher than levels seen before the pandemic struck last spring.

Technology stocks appeared poised to lead the rebound on Thursday, after taking a beating in recent days as investors opted for less richly valued companies. Facebook rose 1.6%, while Amazon.com added 1.2%.

"Market selloffs are a good time for people to buy into tech: for many investors, it's an opportunity to buy something that's been expensive and get a bit of a discount," said Salman Baig, a multiasset investment manager at Unigestion. "People are looking for a place to ride out the storm."

Still, some money managers remained wary. The jump in consumer prices has triggered debates about whether "inflation is actually more of an issue than we were led to believe, and whether the Federal Reserve is going to have to be a little bit more aggressive," said Dwyfor Evans, head of macro strategy for the Asia-Pacific region at State Street Global Markets.

The market for U.S. Treasurys stabilized after four consecutive days of selloffs. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note ticked down to 1.685%, from 1.693% on Wednesday, its highest level in more than a month. Yields fall when prices rise.

Earnings season is set to continue, with Airbnb, Walt Disney, Coinbase and DoorDash expected to post results after markets close.

Bitcoin dropped over 8% to around $49,800, according to CoinDesk, after Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk said his company had suspended accepting the cryptocurrency as payment for vehicles due to its high carbon footprint. It earlier fell as low as $46,294.72, its lowest price since March 1, according to CoinDesk.

Commodity markets were broadly lower. U.S. crude oil slipped 2.5% to $64.44 after the owner of the Colonial Pipeline said Wednesday that it had begun restarting operations following a cyberattack that shut down the main fuel conduit serving the East Coast.

Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 fell 0.4%.

Among European equities, Burberry fell nearly 8% after reporting a decline in full-year revenue and a measure of profit. Retail trading platform Hargreaves Lansdown slid more than 5% after it said it has started to see a fall in share-dealing volumes as lockdown measures eased.

Investors continued to sell European government bonds. The yield on the benchmark 10-year German bund climbed to minus 0.110%, trading around the highest level since May 2019.

In Asia, most major equity benchmarks declined by the close of trading. Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index lost 1.8%. Indexes in South Korea, Japan, Australia and China also all retreated. Taiwan's benchmark Taiex shed 1.5%, declining for a fourth straight day. That put it in correction territory, meaning it has fallen at least 10% from a recent high.

In Tokyo, shares in SoftBank Group plunged by more than 7%, even after the technology investor reported the highest-ever annual profit for a Japanese company. In a note to clients, Jefferies analyst Atul Goyal said the lack of a new buyback plan was disappointing, after SoftBank concluded an earlier program totaling $23 billion.

-- Akane Otani contributed to this article

Write to Xie Yu at yu.xie@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

May 13, 2021 10:02 ET (14:02 GMT)

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