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May retail sales rise unexpectedly, jobless claims flat
China ADRs climb on more rate cuts
Kohls up after TD Cowen upgrade
Indexes up: Dow 0.55%, S&P 0.39%, Nasdaq 0.19%
(Updated at 10:06a.m. ET /1406 GMT)
By Shristi Achar A and Sruthi Shankar
June 15 (Reuters) - Wall Street's main indexes inched higher on Thursday as megacap stocks rose on lower Treasury yields, lifting investor sentiment soured by Federal Reserve's hawkish comments on interest rate hikes this year.
U.S. retail sales unexpectedly rose in May as consumers spent on a range of goods including vehicles, which could help support the economy this quarter.
Another set of numbers showed initial claims for state unemployment benefits were steady at a seasonally adjusted 262,0000 for the week ended June 10. Economists polled by Reuters had forecast 249,000 claims for the latest week.
U.S. Treasury yields pulled back, lifting shares of rate-sensitive growth stocks. Apple, Microsoft and Meta Platforms gained between 0.8% and 1.3%.
The Fed left rates unchanged at the 5%-5.25% range on Wednesday, but indicated they could rise by at least half a percentage point this year as inflation remains stubbornly persistent and the U.S. economy stays resilient.
"What has been encouraging is that the rate market has significantly reassessed the trajectory of expected interest rates but the equity market has largely ignored that and, if anything, continued to rise on the belief that the Fed is at or near the end of the rate hike cycle," said Ronald Temple, chief market strategist at Lazard.
"Yesterday's message was a bit of a splash of cold water on equity markets."
Traders see a nearly 65% chance of a 25-basis-point rate hike in July, up from around 60% a day earlier, according to the CME Fedwatch tool.
Energy stocks led gains among the 11 major S&P 500 sectors, up 1.4%, tracking higher crude prices.
At 10:06 a.m. ET, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 188.05 points, or 0.55%, at 34,167.38, the S&P 500 was up 16.85 points, or 0.39%, at 4,389.44, and the Nasdaq Composite was up 25.76 points, or 0.19%, at 13,652.23.
Kroger Co dropped 3.9% after the big-box retailer missed first-quarter revenue estimates.
Kohls Corp added 3.1% after TD Cowen upgraded the department store operator to "outperform" from "market perform".
U.S.-listed shares of Chinese companies including Alibaba Group and JD.com rose almost 3% after the People's Bank of China cut the borrowing cost for its medium-term policy loans for the first time in 10 months.
Advancing issues outnumbered decliners by a 1.90-to-1 ratio on the NYSE and a 1.46-to-1 ratio on the Nasdaq.
The S&P index recorded 20 new 52-week highs and no new low, while the Nasdaq recorded 32 new highs and 38 new lows. (Reporting by Shristi Achar A and Sruthi Shankar in Bengaluru Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)