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- US stocks opened lower Thursday as Europe followed the Fed’s lead in raising benchmark interest rates.
- The Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged more than 300 points.
- Investors are showing signs of concern that interest rates will be higher for longer.
US stocks opened lower on Thursday, a day after the Federal Reserve met expectations with a 50 basis point interest rate hike.
Interest rate concerns were ramped up after the European Central Bank quickly followed up the Fed’s move with its own half-point rate hike.
Investors were still digesting Wednesday’s FOMC meeting, which shed light on the central bank’s outlook for 2023. Fed Chair Jerome Powell suggested that future rate hikes could end up being higher than previously thought despite a better-than-expected inflation report on Tuesday.
“Economic data and the Fed are clearly signaling a new stage of decelerated tightening,” said Ron Temple, chief market strategist at Lazard. “For investors, that doesn’t mean smooth sailing ahead.”
On Thursday, ECB chief Christine Lagarde echoed the Fed’s position, saying that interest rates in Europe will stay high because inflation has yet to come down at a meaningful clip. She said keeping interest rates higher will “guard against the risk of a persistent upward shift in inflation expectations,” and added that future rate hikes will still by “data dependent.”
Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. opening bell on Thursday:
- S&P 500: 3,948.65, down 1.17%
- Dow Jones Industrial Average: 33,648.38, down 0.94% (317.97 points)
- Nasdaq Composite: 11,018.10, down 1.35%
Here’s what else is going on today:
- Elon Musk sold $3.6 billion worth of Tesla stock in the three day period ending December 14.
- A jump in unemployment could help the US avoid a recession, according to Wharton’s Jeremy Siegel.
- Conversely, Bill Ackman thinks the central bank has an unrealistic inflation target which will spur a recession.
- Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary told the US Senate that Binance intentionally put FTX out of business.
In commodities, bonds, and crypto:
- Oil prices fell, with West Texas Intermediate down 1.32% to $76.25 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, sunk 0.90% to $82.06 a barrel.
- Gold declined 1.47% to $1,780.74 per ounce.
- The 10-year Treasury yield fell 3.4 basis points to 3.468%.
- Bitcoin slipped 0.76% to $17,536.36.