Daily Stock Market Reports

the Fed’s First Rate Hike Since 2018 Due Soon

  • US stocks surged on Wednesday ahead of the Federal Reserve’s expected interest rate hike.
  • The Fed is widely anticipated to raise the Fed Funds Rate to a range of 0.25% to 0.50%, representing its first hike since 2018.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed Congress as talks with Russia indicated some progress. 

US stocks surged more than 1% on Wednesday, extending their strong gains from Tuesday, as investors prepare for the

Federal Reserve

to raise interest rates for the first time since late 2018.

This afternoon, the Fed is expected to raise the Fed Funds Rate from near zero to a range of 0.25% to 0.50%. The rate has been at rock bottom since the COVID-19 pandemic emerged in March 2020.

While a rate hike is fully expected by the market, investors will pay close attention to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s news conference at 2:30 p.m. ET, in which any hints about future rate hikes will likely have an outsized effect on the stock market.

The Fed is poised to continue to raise rates in an attempt to tame inflationary pressures, with prices rising at their fastest levels in 40 years.

Here’s where US indexes stood shortly after the 9:30 a.m. ET open on Wednesday:

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy addressed Congress on Wednesday, asking the US government for a no-fly zone to protect its airspace from Russian attacks. But he also acknowledged US reluctance to enforce a no-fly zone, which could escalate the conflict between Russia and Western countries.

An alternative, according to Zelenskyy, was for the US to provide adequate defensive weapons that Ukraine could then use to fight Russia. He also urged the US to sanction every single politician in Russia and put more economic pressure on the country.

Chinese stocks like Alibaba and Tencent soared more than 20% on Wednesday after China’s Vice Premier Liu He pledged support for policies that would benefit its stock market, and said that talks between the US and China on foreign listings have made progress.

Nickel markets reopened on Wednesday following a massive short-squeeze earlier this month that sent prices to more than $100,000 per ton. Nickel prices fell about 5% before trades were halted once again.

Oil prices rebounded after entering a bear market earlier this week and were well below their recent highs sparked by the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine. 

West Texas Intermediate crude oil rose as much as much as 1.99% to $98.36 per barrel. Brent crude, oil’s international benchmark, rallied as much as 1.28% to $101.19.

Bitcoin rose 3.16% to $40,406. Ether prices gained 2.03% to $2,675.

Gold fell as much as 0.45% to $1,921.10 per ounce. The yield on the 10-year Treasury added 2 basis points to 2.17%.

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