U.S. stocks traded near alltime highs and bonds rallied as investors braced for a key inflation report that could provide clues on the direction of monetary policy. The SP 500 fluttered around its May 7 record closing level, with megacap technology and biotech stocks lifting the benchmark index. The 10year Treasury yield retreated below 1.5 after an afternoon auction of the notes. Equities have been trading in a tight range and Treasury yields have been easing in recent weeks as investors who believe accelerating inflation will be shortlived clash with those those who bet it will prove persistent enough to warrant tightening. For now, the Feds dovish stance is calming the markets.
Six of the main 11 SP 500 industry groups rose, led by healthcare stocks. Johnson Johnson Co., Merck Co. Inc., Pfizer Inc. and Eli Lily Co. were among the biggest contributors to the broader indexs advance. Biogen Inc. resumed a rally two days after getting regulatory approval for its Alzheimers drug. United Parcel Service Inc. tumbled the most in seven months after its profitmargin outlook disappointed investors.
The 10year U.S. Treasury yield declined as much as 6.3 basis points to 1.471. The yield held below 1.5 after an auction of 38 billion of the notes Wednesday afternoon. The 30year bonds yield touched 2.148, last seen March 1.
The Stoxx 600 Europe Index increased 0.1, closing at a record high as investors awaited key economic data and the European Central Bank policy meeting on…