On Wednesday, US equities fell following the Federal Reserve's somewhat aggressive stance on interest-rate decreases during its most recent policy meeting. By the end of the trading day, all three of the most important stock indices had fallen.
Maintaining a target range of 5.25 to 5.25 percent for the Federal Funds Rate, central bankers decided to hold interest rates unchanged in January.
Since the Federal Reserve started increasing interest rates last year, inflation has dropped considerably and job increases have slowed. The Federal Open Markets Committee stated that despite this, prices in the economy are still "elevated" and the economy is still expanding at a "solid" speed.
"The economy has made progress toward our dual mandate objectives," stated Fed Chair Powell during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon. "But inflation is still too high, ongoing progress in bringing it down is not assured, and the path forward is uncertain."
The FOMC also noted that central bankers would not reduce interest rates until they have greater certainty that inflation will re-approach their 2% objective.
"Inflation has come down faster than anticipated but whether or not this can be sustained is central to the Fed's decision about when to begin cutting interest rates," commented Bankrate chief financial analyst Greg McBride following the decision.
The Fed is certainly pushing back on the notion of a March interest rate cut, dashing investors' hopes again, but keeping options open and remaining non-committal as a central bank does."
According to the CME FedWatch tool, investors are pricing in a 46% likelihood that the Fed might begin cutting interest rates in March. The majority of bettors (almost 65%) expect the Federal Reserve to decrease interest rates six times before the year ends.
STAY TURNED FOR DEVELOPMENT