Shares of retailers and other consumer companies rose in volatile trading as investors tried to assess the implications of inflation data.
One money manager said the factors that caused the spike in Wednesday's consumer inflation data could be one-offs.
"The magnitude of the beat appears shocking, but needs to be seen in the context of the historic base effects and the unique impact of lockdowns and reopening on the data at the moment," said Andrew Milliner, a portfolio manager at money management firm Janus Henderson Investors, in a note to clients.
"The leading drivers of inflation in yesterday's print was used car prices and airline fares, which together illustrate the specific idiosyncrasies of the current environment, with reopening factors (airline fares) coming back very strongly having been exceptionally subdued as a result of the pandemic and supply chain bottlenecks (used cars) causing price pressures in various sectors."
Observers are divided on how long the spike in inflation could last. Federal Reserve Governor Christopher Waller said he still views increased inflation as a temporary phenomenon.
In one sign of more lasting inflation pressures, burger chain McDonald's said it would increase wages for more than 36,500 hourly workers by an average of 10% over the next several months.
Shares of online luxury sellers RealReal and Poshmark plunged as the companies' brisk sales growth failed to meet the expectations of some investors. Poshmark said its gross merchandise value, a measure of goods offered for sale on its site, grew 43% compared with a year earlier, exceeding Wall Street estimates.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires