Wall St gains as technology stocks rise

·2-min read

Wall Street's main indexes have regained their footing after a three-day slide, buoyed by gains in technology stocks as the smallest weekly jobless claims since the start of a pandemic-driven recession lifted the mood.

Bitcoin clawed back some lost ground to trade near $US40,000 ($A51,486) a day after a brutal sell-off, helping renew appetite for risk.

Shares rose in Crypto-exchange operator Coinbase Global, Crypto-miners Riot Blockchain and Marathon Digital Holdings.

"There's a big risk, regulatory risk, to crypto that's not fully appreciated," said Jay Hatfield, founder and chief executive of Infrastructure Capital Management in New York.

"The central banks have a monopoly on currency. And so we just think that it's a little bit surprising they haven't enforced that monopoly."

The number of people in the US filing for new claims for unemployment benefits fell to 444,000 in the week ended May 15, down for the third straight time, suggesting job growth picked up this month although companies still are desperate for workers.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 180.97 points, or 0.53 per cent, to 34,077.01, the S&P 500 gained 43.14 points, or 1.05 per cent, to 4,158.82 and the Nasdaq Composite added 234.29 points, or 1.76 per cent, to 13,534.02.

"Right now really there is just one driver of the market, and that is the Fed and potential timing of tapering and quantitative easing," Hatfield added.

Signs of rising inflation have increased bets that the Federal Reserve may tighten its policy soon, hitting rate-sensitive growth stocks that set the tech-heavy Nasdaq on track for its fifth consecutive weekly drop.

Retailers were a weak spot.

Ralph Lauren Corp dropped after it forecast full-year sales below analysts' estimates.

Kohl's Corp slumped after warning of a hit to its full-year profit margin from higher labour and shipping costs as well as selling fewer products at full price.