Stocks surrender gains as Fed stands pat, but hints at hiking rates soon

  • by:
  • Source: Market Watch
  • 04/09/2021
The U.S. stock market failed to defend earlier gains and slid into negative territory on Wednesday after the Federal Reserve kept interest rates unchanged but hinted that it will likely raise rates in March as expected. 

Main indexes have been higher most of the session even as weak health-care stocks capped the market’s upside.

What are the main benchmarks doing? 

The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA, +0.28%  fell 21 points to 26,055. The Dow had surged 262 points higher at its peak during the session, thanks in part to a rally in shares of Dow component Boeing Co. 

The S&P 500 index SPX, +0.05%  was down 9 points to 2,813, with the health-care sector down 1.5%, under pressure for a second day. The selloff follows news that Inc. AMZN, -0.41% Berkshire Hathaway BRK.A, +0.12%BRK.B, -0.01%  and JPMorgan Chase JPM, +0.11% a plan on Tuesday to form a company to address rising health costs for their U.S. employees, rattling the sector. President Donald Trump vowed to tackle high health-care prices in Tuesday night’s State of the Union address.

The Nasdaq Composite Index COMP, +0.12%  shed 20 points, or 0.3%, to 7,381.

On Tuesday, the Dow suffered its steepest one-day drop in eight months, falling by about 363 points, or 1.4%. The S&P 500 gave up 1.1%, and the Nasdaq Composite lost 0.9%. 

For the week, the indexes are on pace for drops of 1% to 2%. Still, for the month, the market is set for strong gains, boding well for the rest of the year.
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