(Corrects spelling of wealth management firm in paragraph 7)
* Kohl’s drops after it warns on profit margin
* Crypto-related stocks rebound as bitcoin retraces losses
* Ralph Lauren slides as forecast falls short of estimates
* Indexes up: Dow 0.95%, S&P 1.24%, Nasdaq 1.78%
May 20 (Reuters) - Wall Street’s main indexes rebounded after a three-day slide on Thursday, helped by gains in technology stocks, as the smallest weekly jobless claims since the start of a pandemic-driven recession lifted the mood.
Bitcoin regained some lost ground to trade near $40,000, a day after a brutal selloff, helping renew appetite for risk. Crypto-exchange operator Coinbase Global, miners Riot Blockchain and Marathon Digital Holdings rebounded between 1.6% and 5.1%.
“There was a lot of money drawn out from speculators initially but the market is beginning to gain ground and find comfortable levels,” said Arthur Weise, chief investment officer of Kingsland Growth Advisors.
The number of Americans filing for new claims for unemployment benefits fell to 444,000 in the week ended May 15, down for the third straight time, suggesting job growth picked up this month, though companies still are desperate for workers.
Wall Street’s main indexes fell for the third consecutive session on Wednesday after minutes from Fed’s meeting last month indicated many policymakers thought it would be appropriate to discuss easing crisis-era support in upcoming meetings if the strong economic momentum is sustained.
However, many analysts viewed the statement as old news as economic data since then has showed an unexpected slowdown in the labor market, fanning inflation worries.
“The good jobless claims data has helped prop up the markets a little, but we expect to see some inflation volatility if we see wages rise in the near term,” said Sandi Bragar, managing director at wealth management firm Aspiriant in California.
Signs of rising inflation have increased bets that the Federal Reserve may tighten its policy soon, hitting rate-sensitive growth stocks that set the tech-heavy Nasdaq on track for its fifth consecutive weekly drop.
Technology and communication services rose the most among the 11 major S&P sectors. Energy was the only sector in the red.
“It’s starting to look like cyclical stocks are peaking and institutional investors are moving into defensives.”
At 11:49 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 322.14 points, or 0.95%, at 34,218.18 and the S&P 500 was up 50.98 points, or 1.24%, at 4,166.66. The Nasdaq Composite was up 236.13 points, or 1.78%, at 13,535.87.
Retailers were in a weak spot. Ralph Lauren Corp dropped 6.4% after it forecast full-year sales below analysts’ estimates.
Kohl’s Corp slumped 11% after warning of a hit to its full-year profit margin from higher labor and shipping costs as well as selling fewer products at full price.
Cisco Systems Inc cautioned that supply chain issues will linger through the end of 2021 and forecast its current-quarter profit below estimates. The company’s shares, however, reversed premarket gains to rise 0.8%.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.96-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and by a 2.16-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 12 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 45 new highs and 15 new lows. (Reporting by Medha Singh and Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)