Sunday, April 2, 2023
HomeBusinessWall St falls on concerns over Fed interest rate path

Wall St falls on concerns over Fed interest rate path

Article content

NEW YORK — U.S. stocks were lower for a fourth straight session on Thursday as economic data did little to change investors’ perceptions that the Federal Reserve would continue raising interest rates for longer than previously thought.

Equities had initially moved higher upon the release of the Fed’s policy statement on Wednesday, which seemed to confirm hopes the Fed would begin to decelerate the size and speed of its path of interest rate hikes.

Article content

But comments from Fed Chair Jerome Powell following the statement that it was “very premature” to be thinking about pausing its rate hikes sent stocks lower as bond yields and the U.S. dollar rose, a pattern the extended into Thursday.

Advertisement 2

Article content

Economic data on Thursday showed a labor market that continues to stay strong, although a separate report showed growth in the services sector slowed in October.

“One key takeaway from yesterday was what matters is the ultimate level of rates and how long we stay there, those are to be determined, we are going to figure those out along the way,” said Brad Conger, deputy chief investment officer at Hirtle Callaghan & Co in West Conshohocken, Pennsylvania.

“The bad news for stocks is obviously we are going to have to contend with more rate hikes than we thought.”

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 24.21 points, or 0.08%, to 32,123.55, the S&P 500 lost 20.53 points, or 0.55%, to 3,739.16 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 119.76 points, or 1.14%, to 10,405.04.

Advertisement 3

Article content

While traders are roughly evenly split between the odds of a 50 basis-point and 75 basis-point rate hike in December, the peak Fed funds rate is seen climbing to at least 5%, compared with a prior view of 4.50%-4.75% rise.

Investors will closely eye the nonfarm payrolls report due on Friday for signs the Fed’s rate hikes are beginning to have a notable impact on slowing the economy.

The climb in yields weighed on megacap growth companies such Apple Inc, down 3.59% and Alphabet Inc which was down 3.20%. This in turn pulled down the technology and communication services sectors as the worst-performing on the session.

The Dow was able to hold near the unchanged mark thanks to gains in industrials including Boeing Co, up 6.68% and heavy equipment maker Caterpillar Inc, which gained 2.85%.

Advertisement 4

Article content

Qualcomm Inc and Roku Inc lost 6.48% and 1.96%, respectively, after their holiday quarter forecasts fell below expectations.

With roughly 80% of S&P 500 having reported earnings, the expected growth rate is 4.7%, according to Refinitiv data, up slightly from the 4.5% at the start of October. Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the NYSE by a 1.44-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.36-to-1 ratio favored decliners.

The S&P 500 posted 6 new 52-week highs and 44 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 57 new highs and 261 new lows.

(Reporting by Chuck Mikolajczak in New York Editing by Matthew Lewis)



Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

latest articles

explore more


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here