- US stocks slipped Wednesday ahead of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hike decision.
- Investors expect policymakers to raise rates by 25 basis points, which would mark the eight consecutive hike since last March.
- Meanwhile, ADP announced private payrolls grew by 106,000 in January, below expectations.
US stocks slipped Wednesday ahead of the Federal Reserve’s interest rate decision, which is expected to mark the eighth consecutive increase since last March.
Markets are broadly anticipating policymakers to announce a 25-basis-point hike at 2:00 p.m. ET, representing a further step down in the pace of tightening. In December, the Fed raised rates by 50 basis points after four straight hikes of 75 basis points.
Michael Reinking, senior market strategist for the New York Stock Exchange, said Chairman Jerome Powell will likely reiterate a hawkish message in his Wednesday press conference in a bid to temper market enthusiasm.
“[Powell’s] message will likely continue to focus on the duration of time rates will stay at a restrictive stance,” Reinking said. “How he couches where we are in achieving that restrictive stance will be closely watched.”
Meanwhile, the ADP announced Wednesday that private payrolls climbed by 106,000 in January, lower than the 190,000 expected. The latest figure is also lower than the prior month’s gain of 235,000.
Here’s where US indexes stood as the market opened 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday:
- S&P 500: 4,067.63, down 0.22%
- Dow Jones Industrial Average: 33,891.31, down 0.57% (194.73 points)
- Nasdaq Composite: 11,575.30, down 0.08%
Here’s what else is going on:
- Cathie Wood’s flagship Ark ETF just finished its best month in history.
- Cheeseburgers and steaks could get more expensive as US beef cow numbers slump.
- Morgan Stanley’s top strategist said investors are hooked on the “heroin” of Fed rate cuts but the focus will turn to downbeat earnings soon.
- The ChatGPT craze has lifted some Chinese AI stocks up to 60% in a matter of weeks.
- “Big Short” legend Michael Burry issued a grave one-word warning: “Sell”.
- Bankrupt crypto lender Celsius reportedly used Quickbooks for its accounting, just like FTX.
- Elon Musk’s “funding secured” tweet cost investors $12 billion over 10 days, according to a report.
In commodities, bonds, and crypto:
- Oil prices climbed, with West Texas Intermediate up 0.55% to $79.30 a barrel. Brent crude, the international benchmark, inched higher 0.25% to $85.65 a barrel.
- Gold was up 0.03% to $1,946.10 per ounce.
- The 10-year yield fell 6 basis points to 3.461%.
- Bitcoin slipped 0.08% to $23,088.75.