Stocks fell during volatile trading Wednesday, after the Federal Reserve delivered an unprecedented third consecutive 75 basis point rate hike in its continuing battle against inflation in the US economy.
The fed funds rate now sits at 3.0%-3.25%, the highest it has been since 2008.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average both dropped 1.7% as the Nasdaq fell 1.8%. The CBOE volatility index (VIX) spiked above 30, the first time it has hit that level since July 1st. Historically increased volatility can signal increased fear and negative sentiment, and precede a drop in stock prices.
In his speech after the Federal Reserve’s meeting, Fed Chair Powell said, “Restoring price stability is essential to set the stage for achieving maximum employment and stable prices over the longer run. We will keep at it until we are confident the job is done.”
Treasury yields continued to rise after the announcement, as the rate-sensitive 2-year Treasury note rose above 4.1%, the highest it has risen since 2007. The 10-year note rose to its highest level since 2011, above 3.5%.
Charlie Ripley, senior investment strategist at Allianz Investment Management said in a note to clients, “You can only steer the ship towards the storm for so long, but eventually there comes a time when you need to batten down the hatches and with the Fed’s third consecutive 75 basis point rate hike over the past four months, market participants should be looking for cover to weather the upcoming storm. Overall, today’s policy action is largely reflective of the economic backdrop and in order to slow the economy, the Fed clearly has to be aggressive.”
General Mills rose 6% after quarterly earnings beat expectations, and it raised its full year sales outlook. Beyond Meat gave back its gains from the announcement of a deal with Taco Bell to collaborate on a menu item, after it had to suspend its COO over a road rage incident which saw the executive bite off the end of a man’s nose.
In Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin announced he was calling up a partial mobilization of reserve forces to move more aggressively into the Ukraine conflict, as he also announced Russia would be annexing parts of Ukraine inhabited by high percentages of ethnic Russians.
In a televised address, he discussed what he called, “urgent, necessary steps to defend the sovereignty, security and territorial integrity of Russia,” and threatened the West for interfering.
The announcement of an escalation in the Ukraine conflict rattled the markets, as oil prices climbed, before giving back their gains and closing down on the threat of a global recession due to the Fed raising rates. The dollar hit a record high on the tightening of monetary policy while the Euro declined. In cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin fell below $19,000 again before rallying to settle slightly up.
The Daily Financial Trends
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