US stocks tick higher as investors remain optimistic on the economic reopening

Lucas Jackson/Reuters

US stocks ended higher Wednesday, with small-caps taking the lead.
More central bank officials signaled that inflationary pressures are temporary.
Frenzied meme-stock trading continued throughout the day.
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US stocks edged higher Wednesday with stocks pegged to the economic reopening taking the lead. The Russell 2000 small-cap index climbed 2%, outperforming other US indexes. Meanwhile the Dow was nearly flat, a less-than-exciting way to celebrate its 125th birthday. Tesla gained over 3%, lifting the consumer cyclical sector higher.
Central bank officials signaled that inflationary pressures are temporary, soothing investor concerns that a policy change would come sooner than expected.
Fed Vice Chair Richard Clarida said on Tuesday it would be possible to discuss scaling back the pace of asset purchases, and that pricing pressure will prove to be "largely transitory."
San Francisco Fed Bank President Mary Daly told CNBC on Tuesday economic progress looks encouraging, but it isn’t yet time to change policy.
"What we’ve seen is some really bright spots, some very encouraging news," she said. "It gives me hope, and I am bullish for the future. But it’s too early to say that the job is done."
Here’s where US indexes stood at the 4 p.m. ET close on tk:
S&P 500: 4,196.01, up 0.19%Dow Jones industrial average: 34,322.59, up 0.03% (10.13 points)Nasdaq composite: 13,738.00, up 0.59%Goldman Sachs said that US stocks now face "headwinds"after a 12-month rally, with rising bond yields, higher inflation and slower jobs growth set to weigh on equity prices as markets move into 2022 and beyond.
Frenzied meme-stock trading continued today. GameStop has surged over 35% the past two days, while AMC is up 49% since the start of the week. New rallies in the two stocks caused short sellers to lose $618 million on Tuesday alone.BlackBerry jumped as much as 12%Wednesday.

In more GameStop news, the video game retailer is building an NFT platform. It’s part of an ambitious plan to transform itself into the Amazon of gaming.

Societe Generale said commodity prices are at risk of a major reversal that could whipsaw investors positioning for rising inflation.
West Texas Intermediate crude gained as much as 0.5%, to $66.43 per barrel.Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rose 0.7%, to $69.17 per barrel, at intraday highs.
Gold slipped as much as 0.3%, to $1890.7 per ounce.

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