US STOCKS-Wall Street inches higher as inflation fears fade


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    * Dow Jones lags for the week on weakness in industrials
    * S&P 500, Nasdaq set for mild weekly gains
    * Royal Caribbean down after guests test COVID-19 positive
    * Indexes up: Dow 0.25%, S&P 0.15%, Nasdaq 0.14%

 (Updates to market open)
    By Ambar Warrick and Devik Jain
    June 11 (Reuters) - U.S. stock indexes rose slightly on
Friday on gains in technology and growth-exposed sectors after
inflation data calmed fears over imminent policy tightening by
the Federal Reserve.
    The S&P 500  .SPX  traded just below a record high of
4,249.74, with heavyweight technology stocks serving as the
largest boost. Sectors such as financials and basic resources 
that stand to benefit from an economic bounceback this year also
supported the index.
    Investors scaled back expectations for early policy
tightening by the Fed after May's consumer price data suggested
a recent spike in inflation would be transitory.*:nL2N2NR2Q5
    Much of the price surge in May came from items such as
commodities and airfares and it is expected to be temporary.
    With recent data also indicating weakness in the labor
market, the Fed is widely expected to maintain accommodative
policy at its meeting next week, which is positive for stocks
and other risk-driven assets.
    "The commentary will be that they're still focusing on the
last two employment reports, which were much weaker than
anticipated. And so the Fed will have to wait for additional
data before even talking about tapering," said Sam Stovall,
chief investment strategist at CFRA Research in New York.
    "This meeting coming up plus the meeting in late July will
probably result in no policy changes, or even contemplation of
policy changes."
    At 9:45 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average  .DJI  was
up 87.44 points, or 0.25%, at 34,553.68, the S&P 500  .SPX  was
up 6.54 points, or 0.15%, at 4,245.72, and the Nasdaq Composite
 .IXIC  was up 19.12 points, or 0.14%, at 14,039.46.    
    The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq  .IXIC  were set for mild weekly
gains, as a lack of major catalysts and a summer lull in trading
saw them move in a tight range.
    But weakness in major industrial stocks saw the Dow Jones
 .DJI  set for a weekly loss amid doubts over whether President
Joe Biden's $2.3 trillion infrastructure spending plan would
    The S&P industrials  .SPLRCI  sector rose 0.4% on Friday,
but was set to lose for the week.
    Cruise operators fell in early trade, with Royal Caribbean
Group  RCL.N  shedding 1.6% after two guests on its Celebrity
Millennium ship tested positive for COVID-19.*:nL3N2NT2OV
    Stocks favored by small-time retail investors that have
dominated trading volumes in recent weeks were set to close
higher for the week, even as a rally appeared to be running out
of steam on Thursday. Most of the so-called "meme" stocks rose
on Friday.*:nL3N2NT2GT
    Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 2.17-to-1 ratio
on the NYSE and a 1.90-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
    The S&P index recorded 18 new 52-week highs and one new low,
while the Nasdaq recorded 50 new highs and six new lows.

 (Reporting by Ambar Warrick and Devik Jain in Bengaluru;
Editing by Maju Samuel)
 ((; +91-80-6182-2837; Reuters
Twitter: @AmbarWarrick))

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