US Market falls as Fed hints one more hike

September 21,2023

The US stock market finished session lower on Wednesday, 20 September 2023, amid renewed concerns about the outlook for interest rates after the Federal Reserve raised its forecast for rates at the end of next year.

At the close of trade, the Dow Jones Industrial Average index declined 76.85 points, or 0.22%, to 34,440.88. The S&P500 index dropped 41.75 points, or 0.94%, to 4,402.20. The tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index decreased by 209.06 points, or 1.53%, to 13,469.13.

Total 7 of 11 S&P 500 sector indexes declined, led lower by communication services, down 1.89%, followed by a 1.77% loss in information technology, 1.09% loss in consumer discretionary, and 1.03% loss in material sectors.

ECONOMIC NEWS: The US Federal Reserve announced its interest rate decision today after a two-day Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting and left the benchmark interest rates unchanged at 5.25% - 5.50%, while indicating a majority of officials continue to expect one more quarter percentage point interest rate hike before the end of the year. The central bank also updated its forecast for the benchmark interest rate to show interest rates will now remain higher for longer than previously anticipated.

The Fed also predicted the U.S. economy will slow from an estimated 2.1% growth rate in 2023 to 1.5% in 2024 ? and then speed up again. It predicted the rate of inflation would decelerate from an estimated 3.3% at the end of this year to 2.5% in 2024 and 2.2% in 2025, based on the Fed's preferred PCE price gauge.

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