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U.S. stock futures climbed ahead of fresh data on jobless claims and durable goods that will offer cues on the pace of economic recovery.

Futures tied to the S&P 500 added 0.5%, suggesting that the broad market index may hit a record after the opening bell. On Wednesday, the S&P 500 closed down 0.1%. Nasdaq-100 futures advanced 0.6%, pointing to stronger gains for technology shares.

Stocks are grinding higher this week, reflecting investors’ easing concerns about higher inflation and tighter monetary policy. Money managers are growing more assured that interest rates won’t rise for a while: that has sent technology stocks roaring higher in recent days and pushed the Nasdaq Composite Index to two consecutive all-time closing highs.

“In the context of strong growth, markets can digest slightly less supportive monetary policy,” said Sebastian Mackay, a multiasset fund manager at Invesco. “The outlook for earnings is still pretty strong, I think central banks can afford to think about removing some of what’s been put in place.”

The latest data on jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, is due at 8:30 a.m. ET. The figures released last week showed an unexpected increase, suggesting that the path to a full recovery still faces uncertainties and potential setbacks. Economists expect that filings for new jobless claims resumed their decline for the week ended June 18.

“The labor market is pivotal, it is clearly one of the targets of the Federal Reserve,” said Monica Defend, global head of research at Amundi. “It’s what is restraining the Fed from acting more boldly.”

Data on orders for durable goods are also due at 8:30 a.m. Economists are expecting a pickup in May. Orders slipped in April, partly because the global computer-chip shortage caused backlogs in the auto industry.

In bond markets, the yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note ticked up to 1.492%, from 1.486% on Wednesday.

Recently, the US inflation rate reached a 13 year high, triggering a debate about whether the United States is entering an inflationary period similar to the 1970s. In this video, WSJ speaks with two economists as well as WSJ’s John Hilsenrath to learn what consumers can expect next. Photo: Alexander Hotz

Overseas, the pan-continental Stoxx Europe 600 rose 0.7%, while the U.K. benchmark FTSE 100 ticked up 0.4%.

Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index edged up 0.2% by the close of trading, while Japan’s Nikkei 225 ended the day flat.

Stocks are grinding higher, reflecting easing concerns about higher inflation and tighter monetary policy.

Photo: Courtney Crow/Associated Press

Write to Anna Hirtenstein at [email protected]

Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8

Source: WSJ

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