The market kept setting new highs all year despite plenty of challenges, including rising inflation, global supply chain disruptions and outbreaks of more contagious variants of the COVID-19 virus.
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Chairman Jerome Powell said Tuesday that the Federal Reserve will consider acting more quickly to dial back its ultra-low-interest rate policies to counter higher inflation. His remarks quickly accelerated losses on Wall Street.
The most powerful lift for stocks came from those that have been able to grow strongly almost regardless of the economy’s strength or pandemic’s pall.
As the stock market has surged to records, activity has dwindled to a nearly two-decade low for the traders known as short sellers, who make their money betting stocks will fall.
Investors are increasingly worried about inflation as oil prices rise and companies continue facing supply problems that increase their costs and force them to raise prices.
After climbing steadily for much of the year, the stock market has become unsettled in recent weeks with the spread of the delta variant, surging long-term bond yields and word that the Federal Reserve may start to unwind its support for the economy.
The benchmark S&P 500 index had its worst drop since May, and the tech-heavy Nasdaq had its worst drop since March.
Worries about debt-engorged Chinese property developers—and the damage they could do to investors worldwide if they default—are rippling across markets.
Optimism over the economy’s prospects as coronavirus restrictions continue to lift has sent the market to a series of record highs, including the third straight for the S&P 500.
Investors are still figuring all the ramifications of the Fed’s latest meeting on interest-rate policy, where it indicated it may start raising short-term rates by late 2023.
The Federal Reserve expects inflation will climb to 3.4% this year, higher than the central bank’s previous forecasts, and projected for the first time that there could be two interest rate hikes in 2023.
With inflation rising in a fast-rebounding economy, the Federal Reserve is poised this week to discuss when it will take its first steps toward dialing back its ultra-low interest rate policies. It will be a fraught discussion.
The S&P 500 notched a 1.2% gain, clawing back almost half of its loss from a day earlier, when it had its biggest one-day drop since February.
Janet Yellen’s comments reignited fears raised by some economists and business leaders that trillions of dollars in new spending that the government has authorized since March 2020 could lead the Federal Reserve to take steps that cool off the economy.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average both reached record highs as the economy showed more signs that it’s continuing to recover.
Another climb in bond yields helped pull money out of Big Tech companies, which have started to look expensive after months of soaring through the pandemic.
The S&P 500, the Dow Jones industrial average and the Russell 2000 measure of small-company stocks all closed at record levels on Thursday.
Tech shares tumbled anew on Monday, sending the Nasdaq composite index down 11% from its all-time high, as investors fled high-valuation stocks for companies whose fortunes are closely tied to the economic cycle.
Investors were encouraged by a government report that U.S. employers picked up the pace of hiring last month.