Fed Holds off on Rate Hikes till ’23, Stocks Jump
U.S. stocks erased earlier losses and jumped higher Wednesday after the Federal Reserve said it sees no interest rate hikes through 2023 and that it will let inflation run hotter than usual to ensure a full economic recovery.
The Dow Jones Industrials gained 189.42 points to close the mid-week session at 33,015.37, marking the first time the blue-chip benchmark has closed above the 33,000 threshold
The S&P regained 11.41 points to 3,974.12, also a new record close.
The NASDAQ Composite recovered 53.64 points to 13,525.20.
Shares of Disney gained 0.5% after CEO Bob Chapek told the media that California’s two Disneyland theme parks will reopen on April 30. McDonald’s climbed 1.9% after Deutsche Bank upgraded the stock to buy from hold.
While the Fed expects benchmark interest rates to remain near zero for the next two years, the central bank upgraded their economic outlook to reflect expectations for a stronger recovery from the pandemic-triggered recession. Gross domestic product is expected to grow 6.5% in 2021 before cooling off in later years.
Expectations for core inflation also moved higher, with the committee now looking for a 2.2% gain this year as measured by personal consumption expenditures. The central bank’s stated goal is to keep inflation at 2% over the long run.
Powell said in a press conference that the Fed would need to see a material and sustained move in inflation above 2% before considering changes to its current easy policy stance.
Prices for 10-Year Treasurys fell, raising yields to 1.65% from Tuesday’s 1.62%. Treasury prices and yields move in opposite directions.
Oil prices gave up 24 cents to $64.56 U.S. a barrel.
Gold prices recovered $13.40 to $1,744.30.