S&P 500, Dow close on the brink of records as investors bet on the Fed’s continued economic support after weak GDP data

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US stocks rose Thursday as the latest batch of economic data eased investor concerns over inflation and the Federal Reserve’s plan to eventually taper bond purchases. All three major indexes closed just shy of record highs.

Robinhood fell as much as 12% to $US33.35 ($AU45) a share before paring losses in a volatile first day of public trading. The company priced its IPO late Wednesday night at $US38 ($AU51) per share, representing the bottom end of its targeted range and giving Robinhood a valuation of $US32 ($AU43) billion.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 4 p.m. ET close on Thursday:

The S&P 500’s flirtation with all-time highs may be a sign to sell, according to Bank of America. The firm said in a Tuesday note that investors should take advantage of the benchmark’s strength and sell stocks to raise cash as bearish indicators begin to pile up.

In economic news, US gross domestic product grew at an annualized rate of 6.5% in the second quarter of 2021, missing the 8.5% jump estimated by economists. The quarter placed GDP above its pre-pandemic peak for the first time.

Meanwhile, jobless claims fell to 400,000 last week, lower than the prior week but higher than economists expected.

West Texas Intermediate crude rose as much as 1.8%, to $US73.68 ($AU100) per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, increased 1.9%, to $US76.15 ($AU103) per barrel, at intraday highs.

Gold climbed as much as 1.4% to $US1,832.71 ($AU2,481) per ounce.