Stock futures fall slightly following Fed update and ahead of more economic data

Stock futures fall slightly following Fed update and ahead of more economic data

Yield curve shows the market has faith in the Fed, says Jefferies' David Zervos

Stock futures were mostly lower Wednesday evening following the Federal Reserve’s latest policy update.

Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average added 8 points. S&P 500 futures and Nasdaq 100 futures were both lower by 0.2% and 0.05%, respectively.

In regular trading, the Dow fell 142 points, while the S&P 500 declined 0.61% and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 0.76%.

The major indexes reacted negatively as investors digested the Federal Reserve’s latest comments following a boost to its overnight borrowing rate. The central bank said it will continue hiking rates through 2023 and projected a higher-than-expected terminal rate of 5.1%. With Wednesday’s half a percentage point hike, the targeted range for rates is currently 4.25% to 4.5%, which is the highest in 15 years.

“The Fed just put a roadblock in front of Santa’s sleigh,” said Sylvia Jablonski, CEO and chief investment officer at Defiance ETFs.

She also noted the tone of Fed Chair Jerome Powell, who in speech Wednesday afternoon sounded “strict” and clear that he “doesn’t have a plan to pause or take a reversal path.”

“It’s going to be higher for longer and monetary policy is going to be more restrictive than thought,” Jablonski said. “The market is going to be handicapped by Fed policy for sometime longer. Though we like the news and like seeing CPI prints like the last one that led to a short-lived rally, this is going to give us some near-term volatility.”

Despite favorable improvements like modest growth, spending and production, Powell indicated he remains concerned job gains are too robust and the unemployment rate is too good for the Fed’s fight against inflation.

Investors will get another batch of economic data to digest Thursday. Retail sales, jobless claims and Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index are all due out at 8:30 a.m. ET.

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