NEW YORK (Reuters) – Oil futures jumped on Thursday after suspected attacks on two tankers off the coast of Iran, while U.S. Treasury yields edged lower as economic data seemed to strengthen the case for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates this year.
Wall Street’s major stock indexes climbed after falling for two days as investors regained their appetite for risk assets.
The number of Americans filing applications for unemployment benefits unexpectedly rose last week, potentially adding to concerns about the U.S. labor market after May job growth slowed.
And other data showed import prices fell by the most in five months in May in the latest indication of muted inflation pressures, potentially strengthening the case for the Federal Reserve to cut interest rates this year.
But Randy Frederick, vice president of trading and derivatives for Charles Schwab in Austin, Texas was not convinced the data changed anything.
“I don’t see a whole lot of real positive catalysts other than a small bounce because we got a couple of weak days,” said Frederick. “Generally, when you get a bounce that doesn’t seem to have a catalyst, often it doesn’t last. I’m finding it hard to imagine what optimism might be out there right now.”
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 52.6 points, or 0.2%, to 26,057.43, the S&P 500 gained 7.71 points, or 0.27%, to 2,887.55 and the Nasdaq Composite added 34.99 points, or 0.45%, to 7,827.71.
The pan-European STOXX 600 index rose 0.14% and MSCI’s gauge of stocks across the globe shed 0.01%.
After falling hard on Wednesday, oil futures rebounded sharply after news of a suspected attack on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman near Iran and the Strait of Hormuz, through which a fifth of global oil consumption passes.
People walk past the London Stock