Wall Street ends lower after Powell’s hawkish remarks – Times of India


NEW YORK: Wall Street closed lower on Monday, with stocks extending their slide after US Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell hinted at a more aggressive tightening of monetary policy than previously anticipated, adding to uncertainties regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
All three major US stock indexes snapped four-session winning streaks on the heels of their biggest weekly percentage gains since early November 2020.
The central bank must move “expeditiously” to combat inflation, Powell told the National Association for Business Economics conference, adding that bigger-than-usual interest rate hikes could be deployed if needed.
“Much of the news today was telegraphed last week in (Powell’s) comments,” said Matthew Keator, managing partner in the Keator Group, a wealth management firm in Lenox, Massachusetts. “The difference is there was some question regarding whether a 50 basis-point rate hike might be a course of action sooner rather than later.”
Fed funds futures now imply a 60.7% chance of a 50 basis-point hike in key interest rates at the Fed’s next meeting in May, up from 52% before the text of Powell’s speech was released.
“Some Fed governors have been vocal about front-end loading some of those hikes, putting them on the books sooner rather than later,” Keator added. “But I don’t think the markets should anticipate a series of 50 basis-point rate hikes between now and the end of the year.”
Fighting raged on in Ukraine as efforts to negotiate an end to the conflict appeared to be making little progress.
Crude prices continued to surge as the European Union weighed joining the United States in banning Russian oil, which raised supply concerns and helped put energy shares out front.
According to preliminary data, the S&P 500 lost 1.67 points, or 0.04%, to end at 4,461.45 points, while the Nasdaq Composite lost 54.55 points, or 0.38%, to 13,839.29. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 201.87 points, or 0.58%, to 34,556.78.
Shares of Boeing Co slid after one of its 737-800 aircraft operated by China Eastern Airlines crashed in southern China with no apparent survivors.
The rising geopolitical temperature helped defense stocks. Despite Boeing’s decline, the S&P 500 Aerospace and Defense index rose, with Lockheed Martin, Raytheon , Northrop Grumman and General Dynamics all gaining solidly.
A Moscow court labeled Meta Platforms Inc an “extremist organisation,” upholding a decision to ban Facebook in Russia. Meta’s shares ended the session lower.
Alleghany Corp surged after Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc struck an $11.6 billion deal to buy the owner of reinsurer TransRe.


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