Dow, S&P surge on energy and industrials

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S. Treasury yields retreated from the more than four-year highs they hit on Wednesday. The Nasdaq composite traded 0.1 percent lower.

We saw a hint of Fed officials being mindful to soothe market nerves when St. Louis Federal Reserve Bank President James Bullard told CNBC on Thursday he wasn't behind the view of four quarter-point rate hikes this year "unless everything goes flawless".

The Fed held rates steady at the January meeting, which was the last to be led by Janet Yellen before her term as chair ended this month and she was succeeded by Jerome Powell. The index had jumped above 21 points after the release of minutes.

The yield on the benchmark 10-year U.S. Treasury note edged up to 2.899% from 2.895% on Tuesday, slightly below last week's four-year high. (MCD). The S&P 500 index added 19 points, or 0.7%, to 2,723, supported by gains of at least 1% in the energy and technology sectors.

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The real estate .SPLRCR sector fell the most with a 0.72 percent decline after data showed US home sales unexpectedly fell in January. In an interview with Bloomberg (http://www.marketwatch.com/story/mnuchin-says-us-wages-can-rise-without-boosting-inflation-2018-02-23), Mnuchin brushed aside concerns over rising wages, saying these didn't necessarily have to trigger a rise in overall inflation.

The dollar was up 0.1 percent at 106.91 yen amid rapidly shifting views in US monetary policy. He said he is looking for clues if the stricter bank underwriting standards and higher commercial interest rates have helped curb market volatility, but so far he hasn't seen any.

Most of the committee believe that inflation would perk up.

"I don't see significantly higher inflation, but we're getting back to central bank targets, and [bond markets] and investors have not been prepared", said Bob Baur, chief global economist at Principal Global Investors.

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"Recently, he has been tilting hawkish and so may be indicative of a gradual shift in the center of gravity of the FOMC".

Among individual stocks, shares of Blue Buffalo (BUFF) moved sharply higher after the natural pet food maker agreed to be acquired by General Mills (GIS) for approximately USD8 billion in cash.

On the earnings front, Tenet Healthcare (THC), Macy's (M), Toll Brothers (TOL), Priceline (PCLN), Lowe's (LOW), Office Depot (ODP), Best Buy (BBY), Broadcom (AVGO), Gap (GPS), Big Lots (BIG), and J.C. Penney (JCP) are among the companies due to report their quarterly results next week. Shares of General Mills were off 3.7%. The company's shares were down 0.5%.

"While the recent stock market volatility will not be reflected in the U.S. LEI until next month, consumers' and business' outlook on the economy had been improving for several months and should not be greatly impacted", said Ataman Ozyildirim, Director of Business Cycles and Growth Research at the Conference Board.

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