US stocks gain for 5th straight day, Dow up 1.2%

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NEW YORK (AFP) - Wall Street stocks enjoyed more solid gains on Thursday (Feb 15), climbing for a fifth straight session and shrugging off fresh data showing higher inflation.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 1.2 per cent to end the day at 25,200.37.

The broad-based S&P 500 jumped 1.2 per cent to close at 2,731.20, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index advanced 1.6 per cent to 7,256.43.

The gains suggest Wall Street is beginning to regain confidence after a major selloff earlier this month briefly sent major indices down more than 10 per cent which is considered correction territory.

"The correction has seemed to end quickly," said Alan Skrainka, chief investment officer at Cornerstone Wealth Management.

The pullback was ignited after the January jobs report showed strong wage gains, which raised worries the Federal Reserve would accelerate interest rate hikes in response to increased inflation.

But the market appears to have pivoted and dismissed this worry, at least for now.

The Producer Price Index, which tracks the cost of wholesale goods and services, rose 0.4 per cent in January, matching analyst expectations, according to the Labour Department report released prior to the market open.

Wholesale prices for outpatient health care and bus fares rose, as did gasoline, diesel, electricity, iron and steel scrap.

Among blue-chip companies, big winners included Apple, Boeing, Cisco Systems and United Technologies, which all rose more than 3 per cent.

Technology shares were generally upward-bound, with Google-parent Alphabet winning 1.9 percent, Expedia 2.1 per cent and Netflix 5.4 per cent.

Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries shot up 7.5 per cent after respected US billionaire investor Warren Buffett, head of Berkshire Hathaway, took a stake in the generic drug maker.

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