Additional 50 basis points increases are ‘on the table’ at the Fed’s next meetings, Powell says
The stock market surged higher on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by 0.5% in a move widely-anticipated by investors, as the central bank continues on its path of aggressive monetary policy tightening in a bid to combat surging inflation.
Stocks moved higher following the Federal Reserve’s announcement: The Dow Jones Industrial Average was up 2.8%, over 900 points, while the S&P 500 rose 3% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite 3.2%.
Investors cheered what was a widely expected move from the Federal Reserve, which hiked interest rates by a half-percentage point—the largest increase in over two decades—as it looks to combat historically high levels of inflation.
The central bank also indicated that it would begin reducing its $9 trillion balance sheet by offloading bonds each month: Starting in June, roughly $30 billion of Treasurys and $17.5 billion of mortgage-backed securities will be rolled off.
Traders expect the Federal Reserve to continue aggressively raising interest rates in the next few months, and with the federal funds rate now at a range of 0.75% to 1%, current market expectations are for the rate to reach 3% by the end of 2022.
The central bank’s announcement was “overall about as dovish as could be expected while still showing that the Fed is serious about fighting inflation,” according to Cliff Hodge, chief investment officer for Cornerstone Wealth.