Stocks Pare Losses After Remarks From Powell

Fed chief says no decision on future rate hikes has been made yet
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 14, 2023 3:29 PM CDT
Wall Street Ends Mixed as Fed Keeps Rates Steady
Traders work on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange in New York, Wednesday, June 14, 2023.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

Stocks swung to a mixed close on Wall Street after the Federal Reserve hinted it may raise interest rates two more times this year. The S&P 500 ended less than 0.1% higher Wednesday after pinballing from a modest gain before the Fed’s announcement to a modest loss just after. The benchmark index rose 3.58 points to 4,372.59 The Dow fell 232.79 points, or 0.7%, to 33,979.33, and the Nasdaq rose rose 53.16 points, or 0.4% to 13,626.48 . The Fed said it would hold rates steady for now to give more time to see how its fusillade of hikes over the last 15 months is affecting the economy.

Even though inflation has slowed since last summer's peak, Powell said there hasn't been enough improvement in underlying trends to feel comfortable, the AP reports. He said one measure the Fed closely watches remains "far above our target and not really moving down. We want to see it moving down decisively, that's all." Stock indexes initially sank in unison following the Fed's announcement, but stocks pared their losses and bond yields gave back some gains as Powell spoke at a press conference, saying no decisions on upcoming rate hikes had been made and that the Fed's next meeting in July is "live."

Some of the sharpest drops in the stock market came from several health insurers after UnitedHealth Group flagged how many customers were getting knee procedures and other outpatient services done. That’s something that could raise costs for insurers, and UnitedHealth fell 6.4%. Humana dropped 11.2%. Stocks of companies that make products used in hip replacements and other health procedures, meanwhile, were at the front of the market. Stryker rose 4.2%, and Edwards Lifesciences gained 3.6%.

(More stock market stories.)

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