U.S. stocks were falling and Treasury yields were rising after the Federal Reserve signaled it will keep interest rates higher for longer, including the possibility of one more increase this year.
The main indices closed lower on Wall Street Wednesday, as the blue-chip Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped just over 75 points, or 0.2%, the broad-based S&P 500 fell 0.9% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite especially hard hit, falling 1.5%.
Fed takes a hawkish stance
The Federal Reserve held interest rates steady on Wednesday, but still forecast another hike of 25 basis points before the year’s end.
Additionally, the U.S. central bank updated its quarterly projections showing interest rates falling only a half of a percentage point in 2024 compared to the one percentage point of cuts suggested at the meeting in June.
Goldman Sachs now expects the Fed to begin its interest rate-cutting cycle in the fourth quarter of next year, later than an earlier forecast of a cut in the second quarter.
“Today, participants appeared to move away from the view that monetary policy tightening could weigh on growth with a long lag next year, which weakens one argument for cutting,” Goldman Sachs said, in a note.
“We think this means that inflation will have to fall further than we previously assumed for the FOMC to cut.”
While there isn’t inflation data for investors to digest today, weekly jobless claims came in at a lower than expected 201,000 last week. In addition, the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index was a negative 13.5, a far lower than expected reading. Analysts had expected negative 0.7.
The 10-year Treasury yield reached 4.48%.
Varied central bank decisions in Europe
In Europe, Sweden’s Riksbank and the Norges Bank hiked interest rates as expected, while the Swiss National Bank kept its main policy rate unchanged at 1.75%, ending its run of five consecutive increases since it began lifting rates out of negative territory in June 2022.
The Bank of England kept rates at 5.25% after raising rates 14 successive times.
FedEx soars on guidance lift
Additionally, FedEx (NYSE:FDX) stock jumped 4.2% after the shipping company lifted its annual earnings guidance, while marketing automation firm Klaviyo (NYSE:KVYO) dipped 0.5% on Thursday after its trading debut on Wednesday.
Crude hit by Fed stance
Oil prices dropped sharply Thursday, pulling further back from recent highs after the Fed’s warning on higher U.S. interest rates raised concerns of a further hit to economic activity, potentially denting crude demand.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, released on Wednesday, showed crude inventories fell just over two million barrels last week, well short of the 5.25 million barrel drop the industry body American Petroleum Institute had reported a day earlier.
The Fed’s hawkish stance also led to the U.S. dollar surging to its highest since early March, making commodities such as oil which are denominated in dollars more expensive for buyers using other currencies.
(Oliver Gray contributed to this item.)