Wall Street drops on ‘hawkish’ Fed minutes

The Dow shed its earlier gains Wednesday and the Nasdaq and S&P 500 extended their declines after investors digested the minutes of the last Federal Reserve meeting. The minutes signaled the central bank may need to hike interest rates sooner than expected and quickly shrink its asset holdings. They were more hawkish than investors had feared.

WealthWise Financial Services CEO Loreen Gilbert:

“They are going to taper by the end of March and that will complete their tapering. And we think that that means they're also going to simultaneously start interest rate increases in March so that news, well, it really speeds up the timeline about by about six months and so the market will react to that.”

The minutes sent Treasury yields higher, and that drove down rate-sensitive tech stocks like Microsoft and Apple even further.

The Dow fell more than 70 points from its record closing high. The S&P 500 retreated eight-tenth percent, and the Nasdaq pulled back nearly 2%.

Helping stem the Dow’s losses: Intel. Northland Capital Markets upgraded the chip maker’s stock to “outperform” from “market perform.”

Shares of Beyond Meat couldn’t hold onto their earlier gains, losing 5%. Yum Brands’ KFC said it’ll start selling the vegan meat maker’s plant-based fried “chicken” in the U.S. for a limited time.

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