Fed’s rate hike, the stock market in the United States rallied
Stocks in the United States jumped on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve approved its largest interest-rate hike since 1994, although the central bank hinted that such moves would be rare. The S&P 500 index increased 54.51 points, or 1.5 percent, to 3789.99, ending a five-day losing run. The Dow Jones Industrial Average increased by 303.70 points, or 1%, to 30668.53, while the NASDAQ Composite increased by 270.81 points, or 2.5 percent, to 11099.15.
The move is the Fed’s latest attempt to reduce inflation by tightening monetary policy. The Fed was widely expected to boost its short-term benchmark rate by 0.75 percentage point, as forecast by investors. Some had feared that, before of Wednesday’s interest-rate decision, the Fed might have to hike rates even faster.
Fed Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday’s decision was “an extraordinarily significant one” during a press conference following the announcement. He also stated that he expects the Fed to raise rates by 0.50 to 0.75 percentage points at its July meeting. Ultimately, the guidance the Fed gives about the direction of interest rates Wednesday is more important for markets than the size of the rate increase, said Dorian Carrell, a fund manager at Schroders. This year, uncertainty regarding monetary policy has been a major source of volatility.
On Monday, the S&P 500 entered bear market territory, or a decline of at least 20% from a prior high. “Markets are pricing in a Fed that wants to be ahead of the curve on inflation rather than behind it,” said Art Hogan, chief market analyst at National Securities. Mr. Hogan said that this helped raise stocks ahead of Wednesday’s rate announcement. Stocks were up across the board, with 10 of the S&P 500’s 11 sectors closing the day higher. Technology companies, which have been one of the market’s hardest hit this year, were among the best performers. Microsoft, Nvidia, Amazon.com, and Netflix all increased by 3% or more.
Areas of the market that are economically sensitive have also risen. The KBW NASDAQ Bank Index rose 1.6 percent on Wednesday, following a sell-off in bank stocks due to market concerns about a slowing economy. Energy stocks have fallen, marking a rare reversal for the year’s best-performing S&P 500 sector. The energy sector of the S&P 500 index declined by around 2.1 percent.
Meanwhile, government bonds in the United States recovered after falling in recent weeks in a selloff that pushed rates to their highest levels in almost a decade. The yield on 10-year Treasurys fell to 3.389 percent on Wednesday, down from 3.482 percent the day before. Rates for everything from mortgages to federal student loans to auto loans are influenced by yields, which fall as bond prices rise.
Ahead of the ECB’s ad hoc meeting on Wednesday to tackle instability in the region’s bond markets, European stocks and prices on peripheral government bonds in the eurozone soared. Under an existing bond-purchase programme, the ECB plans to buy more bonds from weaker eurozone governments. It charged ECB employees with speeding up the development of a new instrument that would reduce borrowing cost variations throughout the area, addressing financial imbalances that have long plagued the currency union.
Willem Sels, chief investment officer at HSBC Private Banking and Wealth Management, said, “They wanted to make sure financing circumstances don’t deteriorate too much.” The meeting, he claimed, showed that the ECB was ready to support markets sooner than investors had anticipated.
Shares of banks and insurers led the Stoxx Europe 600 index higher by 1.4 percent. As the price of government bonds declined, shares of Italian banks, who own a large portion of them, suffered. On Wednesday, Intesa Sanpaolo and UniCredit were among the best-performing banks in Europe. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was trading at 30669 in the afternoon on Wednesday. It was wrongly stated in an earlier version of this article that it traded at 20639. Furthermore, on Tuesday, Italy’s 10-year government bond yields finished at 4.111 percent. The yields settled at 4.067 percent in an earlier version of this story, which was inaccurate.