Market Snapshot: U.S. stocks eke out gains as investors digest mixed signals on Fed’s pace of interest rate hikes

by | Aug 18, 2022 | Stock Market

U.S. stocks finished slightly higher on Thursday as investors assessed mixed signals from several Federal Reserve officials on the potential pace of interest rate increases on deck for September. How did stocks trade?
S&P 500
rose 9.70 points, or 0.2%, ending at 4,283.74.

Dow Jones Industrial Average
rose 18.72 points, or less than 0.1%, closing at 33,999.04.

Nasdaq Composite
gained 27.22 points, or 0.2%, to finish at 12,965.34.

On Wednesday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 172 points, or 0.5%, to 33980, snapping a five-day winning streak, while the S&P 500 declined 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 1.3%.

What drove markets? Following a sizzling bull run that carried the S&P 500 index up more than 17% from its mid-June lows, U.S. stocks looked to be taking a breather as investors scrutinized the latest update on the Federal Reserve’s plans for tightening monetary policy. Fed minutes from the July meeting, when the Fed hiked its interest-rate target by 75 basis points for the second month in a row, reinforced the notion that the world’s largest central bank isn’t about to stop hiking interest rates any time soon. See: Did the stock market ‘misinterpret’ Fed again? What strategists say about the reaction to the July minutes According to one analyst, resurgent fretting over central bank monetary policy tightening is being used as an excuse for profit-taking. “After a very strong run for risk assets thanks to a narrative that we might have seen ‘peak inflation,’ Wednesday put a stop to that as multiple headlines came through that poured cold water on the prospect that central banks were about to let up on hiking rates,” said Henry Allen, macro strategist at Deutsche Bank.

See: Federal Reserve officials …

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