The Fed: Fed inches interest rates up another quarter percentage point

by | Feb 1, 2023 | Stock Market

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday approved a quarter-percentage-point increase in a key U.S. interest rate and signaled its not ready to back off in its fight against inflation, repeating its view that ‘ongoing increases’ will be needed. The Fed on Wednesday lifted its benchmark short-term rate to a range of 4.5% to 4.75%. The decision followed six larger rate hikes in a row as the Fed stepped up its fight to quench the worst bout of inflation in 40 years.

Stocks
DJIA,
+0.08%

SPX,
+0.95%
extended their losses after the Fed statement. The yield on the 10-year Treasury note
TMUBMUSD10Y,
3.406%
was down slightly to 3.47%. Some economists suggested the bank’s might hint it was getting closer to the end of a rate-hike cycle that began last spring. Instead, the bank largely stuck to its prior script. “The [Federal Open Market Committee] anticipates that ongoing increases in the target range will be appropriate in order to attain a stance of monetary policy that is sufficiently restrictive to return inflation to 2 percent over time,” the statement read. Yet the bank did alter some parts of its statement to indicate it would raise rates in smaller increments. The Fed referred to the “extent” of future increases instead of the “pace,” a hint that it’s not far from its goal. “The FOMC has moved past stage one, debating how fast to raise rates, to stage two, debating how far to raise rates,” said …

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