US stocks were lower and whipsawing one day after the Federal Reserve raised the federal-fund rate by 75 basis points.
Stocks rallied Wednesday afternoon, extending earlier gains, after the Fed move designed to to tame inflation as Fed Chairman Jerome Powell argued that the nation’s economy hadn’t yet slipped into a recession.
The S&P 500 rose 102.56, or 2.6%, to 4023.61. The Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 436.05, or 1.4%, to 32197.59. The Nasdaq Composite had its biggest one-day percentage gain in more than two years, surging 469.85 points, or 4.1%, to 12032.42.
Stocks rallied earlier on Wednesday after mega-cap technology companies Microsoft and Google parent Alphabet reported earnings that were better than investors feared.
“The market is bearishly positioned,” said Tim Leary, a high-yield bond portfolio manager for RBC Global Asset Management. “Trading volumes have been thin. You get a whiff of good news, and it doesn’t take much to have a market rally.”
This week is considered a pivotal week in financial markets, and traders around the world were studying the interest-rate decision from the Fed. Investors have been watching closely for any clues from central bankers on the size of further interest-rate increases this year — and whether officials expect to then turn around and begin cutting rates next year.
In a policy statement, Fed officials acknowledged signs of slower economic activity. Powell said it will likely become appropriate to slow the pace of interest-rate hikes.
Meanwhile, shares were mostly higher in Asia on Thursday.
Hong Kong’s benchmark Hang Seng index slipped 0.1% to 20,642.80 after the territory’s Monetary Authority matched the Fed’s 0.75 percentage point rate hike with one of its own. The HKMA aligns its policies with U.S. monetary moves to keep the Hong Kong dollar at a stable rate against the U.S. dollar.
Tokyo’s Nikkei 225 picked up 0.4% to 27,815.48, while the Shanghai Composite index added 0.3% to 3,284.32.
In Seoul, the Kospi advanced 0.8% to 2,435.27.
Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 jumped 1% to 6,889.70 after the government reported that retail sales rose in June for the sixth consecutive month.
Also, Treasurer Jim Chalmers told Parliament that the government forecasts that inflation will remain unacceptably high for some time to come and the economy will slow but not fall into recession.
Markets in Thailand were closed for a holiday.