Around 2:15 p.m. GMT, the Dow Jones index was up 0.74% and the technology-heavy Nasdaq was up 2.15%.

The S&P 500 rose 1.49%.

The day before, Wall Street had ended up sharply, catapulted by a bargain hunt, the Dow Jones had taken 1.61% to 32,637.19 points, the Nasdaq index, 2.68%, to 11,740.65 points, and the broader S&P 500 index, 1.99%, at 4,057.84 points.

Beset by inflation, the impact of the war in Ukraine, fears of recession, Wall Street had its worst start to the year since 1970, according to analysts at LPL Financial.

And the sequence of eight weeks of decline is a first for almost a century (1923).

But on Friday, the Commerce Department released an encouraging inflation index.

The US price spike eased in April according to the Commerce Department's PCE index, the Federal Reserve's (Fed) favorite barometer, while income growth was weaker and households held back their expenses.

Inflation rose to 6.3% over one year in April, against 6.6% in March.

Over one month, the slowdown is even more marked, at 0.2% against 0.9% last month.

Revenue rose 0.4% from March, and spending 0.9%.

"Barring a calamitous fallout later in the session, the major indices are heading into the three-day Memorial Day weekend with gains in store," said Patrick O'Hare of Briefing.com.

"This hasn't happened for quite a while", recalled the analyst who welcomed "the moderation in the annual rate of inflation which corresponds to the theory according to which the rise in prices has reached a peak".

Same story at Oxford Economics whose economist Lydia Boussour noted that the monthly price increase of 0.2% was "the lowest in 17 months!".

Chris Low of FHN, for his part, was surprised by the drive of the American consumer "who, despite an increase in his income below inflation, has continued to spend by digging into his savings".

"It defies the laws of gravity or it's denial, but it's hard to imagine that consumption will forever grow faster than income," doubted the analyst.

The rise in stocks was led by the technology sector.

Computer maker Dell Technologies climbed 12.45% to $49.40 after announcing better-than-expected quarterly results, buoyed by strong demand for PCs from businesses.

The semiconductor sector regained confidence like AMD (+2.32%) or Nvidia (3.53%) as well as the big names in tech with Tesla (+4.65% to 740 dollars), Apple (+2 88%) and Google (+2.50%).

Shares in semi-wholesale supermarket chain Costco, which had started in the red, rose 1.56% after better-than-expected results, although its operating margin weakened due to rising costs.

The American Eagle Outfitters clothing brand fell 4.78% to 13.35 dollars after sales and projections which proved to be well below expectations.

Similarly, the ready-to-wear brand Gap (which also controls Old Navy and Banana Republic) slipped 4.68% to 10.60 dollars while the group suffered a 13% reduction in sales on the 1st. quarter and a loss of $162 million.

The title, very volatile, was briefly suspended from trading at the opening when it fell by more than 8%.

On the bond market, after the reassuring figure for inflation, yields fell for 10-year Treasury bonds, to 2.71% against 2.74%.

On Monday, New York Square will be closed to observe the Memorial Day holiday.

© 2022 AFP

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