U.S. stocks end mixed as Dow extends recovery after strong economic data

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  • VF shares tumbled after earnings miss
  • Bitcoin and crypto stocks fall on China crack down
  • Indexes mixed: Dow up and Nasdaq dips

May 21 (Reuters) - Wall Street ended mixed on Friday, with inflation concerns looming at the end of a volatile week of trading.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose with the help of Boeing (BA.N), which jumped as industry sources said the planemaker has drawn up preliminary plans to increase in 737 MAX output to as many as 42 jets a month in fall 2022. read more .

Banks, including Goldman Sachs [RIC:RIC:GSGSC.UL] and JP Morgan [RIC:RIC:JPMKBM.UL], also lifted the Dow.

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On S&P 500, economy-linked financials (.SPSY) and energy (.SPNY) are providing the biggest boost.

IHS Markit's data showed U.S. business activity picked up in May amid strong domestic demand, but backlogs of uncompleted work are piling up as manufacturers struggle to find raw materials and labor. read more

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 124.75 points, or 0.37%, to 34,208.9, the S&P 500 (.SPX) lost 3.04 points, or 0.07%, to 4,156.08 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) dropped 64.75 points, or 0.48%, to 13,470.99.

Following a three-day slump, Wall Street's main indexes gained ground on Thursday after data showed the fewest U.S. weekly jobless claims since the pandemic-driven recession in 2020, pointing to a pickup in labor market.

"Everybody is grappling with the timing and extent of the COVID recovery. Inflation fears have really been triggered by some of these positive economic reports," said Greg Bassuk, CEO of AXS Investments.

Despite weakness on Friday, the Nasdaq is on course to snap a four-week losing streak as investors this week returned to tech-related mega-cap shares, which recently took the biggest hit on inflation worries.

"Investors have to change their mindset and understand that tech is going to be a longer trade now. They're unlikely to see that 20% pop in Apple in the next couple of months," said Sylvia Jablonski, chief investment officer at Defiance ETFs.

Bitcoin dropped after China's Vice Premier Liu He said his government will crack down on the virtual currency's mining and trading activities. Cryptocurrency-related stocks Coinbase Global (COIN.O), Riot Blockchain (RIOT.O) and Marathon Digital Holdings (MARA.O) fell. read more

Ford Motor Co (F.N)surged in its biggest one-day gain since December after it announced plans on Thursday to form a battery joint venture in the U.S. with South Korean battery maker SK Innovation (096770.KS) to support its electric vehicle rollout, confirming a Reuters report earlier.

Nvidia Corp (NVDA.O) added after announcing a four-for-one stock split, as it looks to make its stock less expensive for investors. read more

VF Corp (VFC.N) slumped after the Vans and The North Face parent's quarterly profit fell short of estimates.

The S&P 500 posted 24 new 52-week highs and no new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 108 new highs and 24 new lows.

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Reporting by Medha Singh and Shashank Nayar in Bengaluru, Krystal Hu in New York; Editing by Maju Samuel and Aurora Ellis

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