Home Trading ETFsStock Market U.S. stocks retreat from initial Fed bump, then pare during Powell Q&A By Reuters

U.S. stocks retreat from initial Fed bump, then pare during Powell Q&A By Reuters

by Reuters
© Reuters. Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., January 25, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Stephen Culp

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Wall Street was mixed on Wednesday, surging but then paring earlier solid gains after the U.S. Federal Reserve released its statement at the conclusion of its two-day policy meeting.

All three indexes were green throughout the session but briefly jumped higher after the Federal Open Markets Committee announced it left key interest rates near zero.

But those gains evaporated when the Fed warned in its statement that it would soon begin raising the Fed Funds target rate to combat persistent inflation related to the COVID-hobbled supply chain.

“With inflation well above 2 percent and a strong labor market, the Committee expects it will soon be appropriate to raise the target range for the federal funds rate,” the statement said.

Stocks pared further and the Dow dipped into the red once Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s subsequent Q&A got under way, during which he warned that inflation remains above its long-run goal and supply problems are bigger and more long-lasting than previously thought.

“The Fed provided some clarity on the prospect of rate hikes but not all the clarity markets were looking for,” said Russell Price, chief of economics at Ameriprise Financial (NYSE:) Services in Troy, Michigan. “There’s still some uncertainty when it comes to the balance sheet roll off. The market’s glad to get a little more clarity given the uncertainty that accompanies transition periods like this.”

The fell 52.98 points, or 0.15%, to 34,244.75, the gained 10.65 points, or 0.24%, to 4,367.1 and the added 91.99 points, or 0.68%, to 13,631.29.

Of the 11 major sectors of the S&P 500, most were in positive territory, with interest rate-sensitive tech shares enjoying the biggest percentage gain.

Fourth-quarter reporting season has hit full stride, with one-fifth of the companies in the S&P 500 having posted results. Of those, 81% have beaten consensus, according to Refinitiv data.

Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:) gained 3.2% after current-quarter revenue guidance, driven in part by its cloud business, came in above consensus.

Boeing (NYSE:) Co was down 4.4% after the plane maker said it incurred $4.5 billion in charges in the fourth quarter related to its sidelined 787.

Toy maker Mattel Inc (NASDAQ:) jumped 5.0% after regaining the right from rival Hasbro Inc (NASDAQ:) to produce toys based on Walt Disney (NYSE:) Co’s “Frozen” franchise.

Tesla (NASDAQ:) Inc was up 3.5% ahead of its quarterly results after market close.

Advancing issues outnumbered declining ones on the NYSE by a 1.03-to-1 ratio; on Nasdaq, a 1.07-to-1 ratio favored advancers.

The S&P 500 posted 12 new 52-week highs and 6 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 28 new highs and 73 new lows.

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