Wall Street dips as Fed signals rate hikes

U.S. stocks fell and Treasury yields shot higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve unnerved Wall Street by projecting it’ll raise interest rates sooner than investors had expected.

The central bank’s statement said a majority of policymakers now sees at least two quarter percentage point hikes in 2023, and some officials even see the rate hike starting next year.

Summit Place Financial Advisors President Liz Miller:

“I think the surprises, if there were some, were we had a few more governors in that dot plot expecting to see an increase even in 2022. That was originally last time just a few, a handful of the 18. This time we were up to 7. I think if we continue to see strength in this economy, we may see that pulling forward even more.”

The Dow ended three-quarters percent lower. The S&P 500 fell a half percent, and the Nasdaq dropped a quarter percent.

Treasury yields climbed back above 1.5%, pushing interest-sensitive tech stocks lower and financial stocks higher.

But not Citigroup. Its shares fell 3%. Its finance chief cautioned that the economic recovery might not boost the bank’s profits because of higher expenses and a slowdown in institutional businesses.

Oracle shares dropped over 5%. The business software maker is ramping up spending on its cloud computing business, leading the company to forecast current quarter profits that disappointed Wall Street.

But shares of GM rose nearly 2% as it raised its earnings forecast. The automaker said it boosted spending on electric and self-driving vehicles and now plans to build two more battery plants in the U.S.

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