Stock Futures Slump as Rally Fades After Fed’s Big Rates Boost
Stock futures were falling sharply Thursday after the Federal Reserve boosted interest rates the most since 1994, and signaled to Wall Street it would remain aggressive in its campaign to cool historically high inflation.
Renewed recession fears were pushing stocks lower. Contracts linked to the
Dow Jones Industrial Average
fell 571 points, or 1.9%, to 30,080, and
futures were down 2.4%. Futures on the tech-heavy
declined 2.7%. Some of the bigger tech names traded on the index were slumping.
(ticker: AAPL) was falling 2.6%,
(AMZN) was down 2.8%, and
(MSFT) dropped 2.5%.
Overseas, the Bank of England raised interest rates for the fifth straight time, by 25 basis points to 1.25% on Thursday, and the Swiss National Bank surprised with a rate hike of 50 basis points.
Stocks in the U.S. rose Thursday after the Fed agreed to increase interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point, and Fed Chairman Jerome Powell suggested the central bank could hike rates by that much again next month to control inflation that is running at 40-year highs.
Powell, however, also said the big rates hike was “an unusually large one” and that Fed officials “do not expect moves of this size to be common.”
“Hopes that the Fed would hike at a less angry pace over the rest of the year was enough for the downtrodden buy-the-dippers to flock back into the market,” said Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at Oanda. “Markets like their large rate hikes to be rare and not well done.”
Stocks had come into the Federal Reserve meeting on a five-day losing streak that sank the S&P 500 by about 10%.
The yield on the 10-year Treasury rose to 3.427%, just below its multiyear closing high of 3.482% that was hit on Tuesday.
The moves from the central bank on Wednesday increased the Fed’s benchmark federal-funds rate to a range between 1.5% and 1.75%. Fed officials expect the benchmark rate to end the year at 3.4%, and 3.8% by the end of 2023.
John Lynch, chief investment officer at Comerica Wealth Management, said Inflation at multi-decade highs required an “aggressive policy stance.”
He added that a decline in U.S. retail sales in May, the first drop in five months, suggested the “possibility of another down quarter in Q2, especially when considering weakness in productivity, mortgage applications and auto sales.”
Lynch noted that historically it’s hard to have a recession with an unemployment rate less than 4%, but said the possibility was now “plausible” given the weaknes in economic data and financial markets.
“Nonetheless, Fed must continue with rate hikes, which tend to act with a lag, therefore raising the possibility for a double-dip recession next year,” Lynch said.
Chris Zaccarelli, chief investment officer for Independent Advisor Alliance, said the main takeaway for investors was that “inflation has the Fed’s attention and that they are taking it very seriously.”
But Zaccarelli said he’s not convinced the worst is behind the stock market and the economy because they “still face considerable headwinds.”
Here are some other stocks on the move Thursday:
(ticker: TWTR) shares rose 2.4% in premarket trading with Elon Musk expected to confirm his desire to follow through with his $44 billion acquisition of the social media company on Thursday at an all-hands meeting of employees.
(TSLA) was falling 3.9% early Thursday. The electric-vehicle company, where Musk serves as chief executive, accounted for the majority of Level 2 Advanced Driver Assistance System crashes reported to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to data released by the regulator. Also, analysts at Jefferies cut sales estimates for electric-vehicle makers for this year and next.
(BA) was down 0.9% despite an upgrade to Buy at Citi.
Write to Joe Woelfel at firstname.lastname@example.org